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Full text of "Vermont in the civil war. A history of the part taken by the Vermont soldiers and sailors in the war for the Union, 1861-5"

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collection of 
Lieut, Col, Francis Hunter Hardie 

united states army 








immm sgleiees km sailors 



By G.'G. benedict. 







^3T0f, uENOX AND 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 188S, 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 


When volume I of this history was issued, the work of 
preparation of vohime II was well advanced toward comple- 
tion. But the efiect of the publication of the first volume 
was to delay the publication of the second ; for it awakened 
many of the Vermont veterans, seemingly for the first time, 
to the fact that a careful history of the Vermont troops was 
in preparation. As a consequence, documents, diaries, war- 
letters and reminiscences, for which I had long been asking 
in vain, poured in upon me. Conflicting accounts of many 
important matters were received. Questions which I had 
considered settled were reopened and had to be inves- 
tigated and decided anew. So much important additional 
material was thus received, that the manuscript for this 
volume had to be wholly rearranged and most of it rewritten. 
While this occasioned an amount of delay which can have 
been regretted by no one as much as by myself, it has cer- 
tainly added enough to the interest and value, as well as to 
the size of the work, to compensate the subscribers for their 
waiting. When all was done, the bulk of the completed 
work proved to so largely exceed the limits of size upon 
which the contracts with the publishers and subscribers 
were based, that a third revision and extensive condensation 
of the work became imperative ; and after all I have been 
obliged to omit some matters, including extracts from official 
reports and orders and a list of native Vermonters who 
served in other than Vermont organizations, which I had 
planned to include in an appendix to this volume. If there 
should seem to be a demand for these, they may possibly 
be published at some future day in a supplementary volume. 


My acknowledgements for valuable contributions to this 
history are due to General E. H. Ripley of the Ninth regi- 
ment, Colonel W. G. Veazey of the Sixteenth, Lieut. Colonel 
L. E. Knapp of the Seventeenth, and Lieutenant Curtis 
Abbott of the Sharpshooters, in addition to those mentioned 
in the preface to Yol. I. To a faithful helper who prefers to 
remain unnamed, and to all who have assisted in any way in 
supplying needed information and aid, my thanks are also 
gratefully tendered. G. G. B. 

Burlington, 1888. 


The Seventh Regiment — Organization — Departure for the Gulf— At Ship 
Island — At Carrollton — At Baton Rouge — At Vicksburg — Battle of 
Baton Rouge — Butler's censure — Action of the Vermont Legislature — 
Court of Inquiry ; its action reviewed — Return to Carrollton — At Pen- 
sacola, Santa Rosa Island, Foit Pickens and Barrancas — Re-enlistment 
— Gonzales Station and Mariana — Mobile campaign — Spanish Fort — 
Whistler — On the Rio Grande— Muster out and Final Statement. . 1 

The Eighth Regiment — Organization — Departure for the Gulf — At Ship 
Island — At New Orleans — At Algiers — Raceland, Boutte Station and 
Bayou des Allemands — Brashear City — Assigned to the Nineteenth 
Corps — Steamer Cotton — Bisland — Red River Campaign — Siege of 
Port Hudson — Back to the Teche — Re-enlistment— Return to New 
Orleans— Under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley— The Opequon — 
Fisher's Hill — Cedar Creek — Return Home — Muster Out and Final 
Statement 80 

The Ninth Regiment — Organization — Departure for the War — At Harper's 
Ferry — Chicago — Back to the Field — Suffolk — Yorktown — Newport, 
N. C. — Battle of Newport Barracks — New Berne — Before Richmond 
— Bailey's Cross Roads— Battle of Chapin's Farm — Fort Harrison and 
Battery Morris — Fair Oaks— Competitive Inspections — Fall of Rich- 
mond — Return Home and Final Statement 183 

The Tenth Regiment — Organization — Departure for the Field — In the 
Defenses of Washington— Joins the Third Corps — Campaign of 1863 — 
Mine Run Campaign •nd Orange Grove — Joins the Sixth Corps — 
Overland Campaign of 1864 — Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold 
Harbor — Petersburg — Weldon Railroad— Battle of the Monocacy — In 
the Shenandoah Valley — Battles of Opequon, Fisher's Hill and Cedar 
Creek — Fall of Petersburg — Pursuit of Lee — Sailor's Creek — March to 
Danville, Va. — Return Home— Muster Out and Final Statement. . 276 


The Eleventh Regiment — Organization — Duty in Defenses of Washington 
— Changed to Heavy Artillery — Service in the Forts — Joins Sixth 
Corps — Spottsylvania — Cold Harbor— Petersburg — Weldon Railroad — 
Prison Experiences and Escapes — The Shenandoah Campaign — 


Charlestown, Va.—Opcqiion— Fisher's Hill— Cedar Creek— Return to 
Petersburg— Fall of Petersburg— Muster Out and Return Home— Men 
who died in Prison— Final Statement 342 

Organizations of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Six- 
teenth Regiments — Departure for Washington — Organization of the 
Second Vermont Brigade — Duty in the Defenses of "Washington — Fair- 
fax Court House— Winter Quarters at Fairfax Station and Wolf Run 
Shoals — Capture of General Stoughton — General Stannard assumes 
Command — Spring Campaign of 18G3— Guarding the Orange and 
Alexandria Railroad — Mosby Joins the Army of the Potomac — March 
to Gettysburg— Battle of Gettysburg— Pursuit of Lee— Departure for 
Home — Musters Out and Final Statements 397 


The Seventeenth Regiment — Organization — Departure for the Field — 
Assigned to the Ninth Army Corps— The Wilderness — Spottsylvania — 
Totopotomoy— Cold Harbor— Petersburg— Battle of the Mine— Poplar 
Spring Church— Winter in Fort Davis- Fall of Petersburg— Pursuit of 
Lee — Muster Out and Final Statement 496 

The First Cavalry Regiment— Organization— At Annapolis — In the Shen- 
andoah Valley — Death of Colonel Holliday — Banks's Retreat — Orange 
Court House — Second Bull Run — Ashby's Gap — Outpost Duty and 
Troubles with Mosby — The Gettysburg Campaign — Hanover — Gettys- 
burg — Hagerstown and Boonsboro — Return to Virginia — Culpeper, 
Brandy Station and Buckland Mills — Kilpatrick's Raid — The Wilder- 
ness Campaign — Craig's Church and Spottsylvania — Sheridan's Raid — 
Yellow Tavern— Ashland — Hawes's Shop and death of Colonel Preston 
— Wilson's Raid— Stony Creek and Ream's Station — In the Shenan- 
doah Valley— The Opequon — Tom's Brook— Cedar Creek — Skirmishes 
in the Valley — Spring Campaign of 1865— Waynesboro— Five Forks — 
Appomattox— Return Home — The Frontier Cavalry— Final Statements. 

The First Battery— Organization — At Ship Island — At CarroUton- Assigned 
to the Nineteenth Corps — Plain's Store— Siege of Port Hudson— At 
Brashear City— Red River Campaign— Pleasant Hill— Monette's Bluff 
— "Yellow Bayou — Sabine Pass — At Morganzia — Muster Out and Return 
Home. The Second Battery — Organization — At Ship Island — Occupa- 
tion of New Orleans- -Attached to the Nineteenth Corps — Plain's Store 
— Siege of Port Hudson— Jackson, La.— At Port Hudson— Muster Out 
and Return Home. The Third Battery— Organization — Attached to 
Ninth Corps- Wilderness Campaign— Service in front of Petersburg — 


The Mine — la Foit Sedgwick — Joins Sixth Corps — At City Point — At 
Fort Fisher — Fall of Petersburg, and Capture of Forts Gregg and 
Whitworth — Return Home and Muster Out 696 


Company F, First U. S. Sharpshooters — Organization — Camp of Instruc 
tion — The Peninsula Campaign: Yorktown, Hanover Court House, 
MechanicsviUe, Gaines's Mill and Malvern Hill — Second Bull Run— 
Fredericksburg — Chancellorsville— Gettysburg — Kelly's Ford— Mine 
Run -Wilderness — Spottsylvania — Cold Harbor — Siege of Petersburg,- 
— Weldon Railroad — Assigned to Fourth Vermont — Final Statement. 

Companies E and H, Second U. S. Sharpshooters — Organization — Camp ol 
Instruction — March to Falmouth — Pope's Campaign: Rappahannock 
Station; Second Bull Run — South Mountain — Fredericksburg — Chan 
cellorsville — Gettysburg — Kelly's Ford and Brandy Station — Mine Rui; 
Campaign— The Wilderness Campaign — Totopotomoy and Cold Har 
bor — Siege of Petersburg — Deep Bottom — Boydton Road — Close or 
Service — Final Statements 73 1 

The Staff — Vermonters in other than Vermont Organizations — Comparative, 
Exhibit of Deaths in Action and from aU Causes 77't 


Service of Vermonters in the Navy — List of Vermonters holding Com- 
missions in the Navy — Conclusion 794 


GovBBNOE Feederick Holbkook Frontispiece. 

General Stephen Tuomas Opposite page 80 

General James M. Warner " " 388 

General George J. Stannaed " " 433 

General William Wells " " 646 

GovEENOB John Gregory Smith " " 730 


Defenses of Port Hudson . page 128 

Map of Harper's Ferry Opposite page 190 

Battle of the Monocacy page 307 

Battle of Gettysburg Opposite page 448 

Lines of Petersburg " " 526 



Organization — Assigned to Gen. Butler's New England Division — Depart- 
ure for the Gulf — Arrival at Ship Island— Occupation of Fort Pike — 
Stationed at Carrollton — Moves to Baton Rouge — At Vicksburg — Hard- 
ships, sickness and deaths — Return to Baton Rouge — Battle of Baton 
Rouge — Butler's censure — Action of the Vermont Legislature — Court 
of Inquiry ; its action reviewed — Return to Carrollton — Changes of field 
and staff — Sketch of Col. Holbrook — Moves to Pensacola — Santa Rosa 
Island — Fort Pickens — Barrancas— Skirmish at Jackson's Bridge — Re- 
enlistment and veteran furlough — Actions at Gonzales Station and 
Mariana— Mobile campaign — Spanish Fort — Whistler — Ordered to 
Texas — On the Rio Grande — Muster out and Final Statement. 

The service of tlie first six regiments, as we have seen, 
was confined to the theatre of war within one hundred and 
iifty miles of the national capital. The scene now changes 
to a region a thousand miles away ; from the Potomac to the 
Mississippi ; from the red soil and rugged surface of Virginia 
to the level and luxuriant cane fields of Louisiana. 

In his message to the Legislature which met in October, 
1861, Governor Holbrook announced that two more regi- 
ments would be required, in addition to the six three-years' 
regiments already raised, to fill the quota of Vermont under 
the existing calls for troops. Bills were accordingly enacted, 
one authorizing the governor to raise one regiment specially 
designated to form a part of the division which General 
Benjamin F. Butler was then organizing for service in the 
far South, and another authorizing the governor to raise and 
equip a regiment " to serve in the army of the United States 


until the expiration of three years from the first day of June, 
A. D. 1801," withovit further designation. The Seventh regi- 
ment was recruited under the latter act. 

The recruiting ofiicers and stations were as follows : 
Middlebury, Henry M. Porter; Brandon, "William Cronan; 
Burlington, David B. Peck ; Swanton, Albert B. Jewett ; 
Cavendish, Salmon Dutton ; Poultney, Charles C. Buggies ; 
Johnson, Samuel Morgan ; Northfield, David P. Barber ; 
Woodstock, Mahlon M. Young ; Kutland, John B. Kilburn. 
Recruiting began at once and was completed in about ten 
weeks. The companies organized as follows — the order of 
the companies being determined by Adjutant General Wash- 
burn : 

A, Burlington, organized January 14, 1863, Captain David B. Peck. 

B, Brandon, 



6, " 

' ' William Cronan. 

C, Middlebury, 



15, " 

" Henry M. Porter. 

D, Rutland, 



7, " 

'• John B. Kilburn. 

E, Johnson, 



9, " 

" Daniel Landon. 

F, S-wanton, 



9, " 

" Lorenzo D. Brooks. 

G, Cavendish, 



31, '« 

" Salmon Dutton. 

H, Woodstock, 



3, " 

" Mahlon M. Young. 

I, Poultney, 



" Charles C. Ruggles. 

K, Northfield, 



1, " 

' ' David P. Barber. 

The rendezvous w^as at Butland and by the 4th of 
February the companies had all arrived there. The camp 
was designated as " Camp Phelps," in honor of Brig, General 
John W. Phelps. The field and staff ofiicers of the regiment 
were announced as follows : 

Colonel— George T. Roberts, Rutland. 
Lieut. Colonel — Volney S. FuUam, Ludlow. 
Major — William C. Holbrook, Brattleboro. 
Adjutant — Charles E. Parker, Vergennes. 
Quartermaster — E. A. Morse, Rutland. 
Surgeon — Frank W. Kelley, Derby Line. 
Assistant Surgeon — Enoch Blanchard, Lyndon. 
Chaplain — Rev. Henry M. Frost, Middlebury. 


The regiment was well officered. Its colonel was a 
native of Clarendon and of revolutionary descent. His 
grandfather on his father's side was General Christopher 
Roberts of the continental army. His mother's father was 
Dr. Silas Hodges, who was a surgeon in the same army and 
for a time attached to General Washington's military family. 
Colonel Roberts, when the war broke out, was the manager of 
the marble quarries at AVest Rutland, of which his brother- 
in-law, General H. H. Baxter, was the principal owner. He 
enlisted upon the first call for volunteers, and went out with 
the First regiment as first lieutenant of the Rutland com- 
pany. He had attracted the favorable notice of General 
Phelps, as an efficient officer, and it was upon General 
Phelps's recommendation that he was appointed colonel of 
the Seventh. He was in the prime of vigorous manhood, 38 
years old, of fine face and figure, soldierly in bearing, large 
of heart and loyal in every fibre. Lieut. Colonel Fullam was 
captain of company I of the Second regiment, when ap- 
pointed lieutenant colonel. Major Holbrook, though not 
yet of age, had seen a year's service as first lieutenant of 
company F of the Fourth regiment. Quartermaster Morse 
had been the efficient quartermaster of the First regiment. 
Surgeon Kelley was a graduate of the medical department of 
the University of Vermont and had been practicing his pro- 
fession for a short time in Alabama, just before the war. 
Chaplain Frost had recently taken orders in the Episcopal 
church. Of the line officers, Captains Peck, Cronan and 
Duttou had been officers of the First regiment, and others 
had served in the ranks of that regiment. There was thus a 
good proportion of experienced soldiers among the officers. 
The rank and file was of the best Vermont material, many 
of the men having also served in the First regiment, which 
was more numerously represented in the Seventh than in 
any other of the three-years' regiments. The regiment was 
armed with new Springfield rifles. It remained at Rutland 


for five weeks during a time of severe cold and snows of 
almost unprecedented depth ; but the men were comfortably 
quartered in barracks and did not sufier. The customary 
run of measles was experienced. On the 12th of February 
it was mustered into the service of the United States by 
Captain J. W. Jones, U. S. A., with 1014 officers and men. 

Though the Seventh had not been raised as a " Butler 
regiment," the fact became known before it left the State 
that General Butler had obtained from the war department 
an assignment of the regiment to his division. This assign- 
ment was not agreeable to the officers and men, who would 
have preferred to join the Army of the Potomac ; but it was 
accepted with little murmuring. 

On the 10th of March the regiment left Rutland, by rail- 
road, for New York, where it had a cordial reception. On 
the evening of the 13tli the officers of the Seventh were en- 
tertained by the " Sons of Vermont," at the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel, w^here a levee was held in honor of the regiment. Hon. 
E. W. Stoughton, president of the Association of Sons of 
Yermont, presided at the supper and proposed the health of 
the officers. Colonel Roberts responded and speeches were 
made by Hon. E. D. Culver, Parke Godwin, Major Holbrook 
and others. On the 14th the regiment embarked on two 
sailing transports, the "Premier" and "Tamerlane," which 
proceeded to sea under sealed orders. They were detained 
at Sandy Hook for several days, by unfavorable weather. 
On leaving their anchorage the ships parted company, and 
neither saw anything of the other till they an'ived at their 
destination. This proved to be Ship Island, in the Gulf of 
Mexico — a fragment of the State of Louisiana over which 
the United States flag then floated. 

The voyage was long and in part tempestuous and the 
men suffered much from sea sickness and confinement in 
their close and ill-arranged quarters on shipboard. Two 
men, James P. Hutchinson, of company H, and Frank Price, 


of company I, died during the passage, the latter from the 
effects of an accidental wound, and were buried at sea. 

The Premier, conveying the right wing of the regiment, 
under Colonel Eoberts, was the first to arrive. It sighted 
Ship Island on the 5th of April, after a voyage of twenty- 
two days, and on the 7th the $ve companies disembarked 
and pitched camp on the island, on the right of the camp of 
the Eighth Vermont regiment, which had preceded them 
from New York by a day or two and landed at Ship Island 
the same day that they did. The Tamerlane arrived on 
the 10th. The Vermonters here found themselves on a nar- 
row strip of snow-white sand, thrown up by the waves, about 
seven miles long and from one-quarter to three-quarters of a 
mile wide. The only vegetation upon it was a grove of pines 
at the northeastern end, from which the troops rafted wood 
for the cook-fires. The other end of the island was covered 
with the camps of the regiments of General Butler's division, 
numbering 7,000 or 8,000 troops on the ground. Though the 
barren sand was in strong contrast with their visions of 
tropical verdure, the men were glad to exchange the troop- 
ships for any kind of terra firma, and were also glad to be 
assigned to the command of General Phelps, the old com- 
mander of the First Vermont. General Phelps had been on 
tbe island for four months, having occupied the island with 
the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, Ninth Connecticut and a 
battery in December, 1861, when he signalized the event 
and inaugurated the friction between himself and General 
Butler and the government at Washington which finally re- 
sulted in his resignation, by issuing his famous proclamation, 
addressed to the loyal citizens of the Southwest, declaring 
slavery to be incompatible with free government and its 
overthrow to be the aim and object of the government in the 
prosecution of the war. 

Ship Island was now a scene of no little military stir. 
General Butler had arrived a few days before, had estab- 


lished there the headquarters of the new Department of the 
Gulf, and was preparing, in connection with Farragut and the 
fleet, for the operations against New Orleans which were the 
first object of the expedition. In the organization of the 
troops of the Department of the Gulf, by order dated March 
31st, the Seventh was assigned to the First brigade. General 
Phelps, consisting of the Seventh and Eighth Vermont, the 
Ninth, Tenth and Thirteenth Connecticut, the Eighth New 
Hampshire, Seventh and Eighth Maine, Fourth Massachu- 
setts battery, First and Second Vermont batteries and a 
company of the Second Massachusetts cavalry. The regi- 
ment had barely landed when the trouble with General 
Butler, which lasted as long as the regiment was under his 
command, began. 

For the disembarkation of the troops, as shoal water 
compelled the transports to lie off the shore. Quartermaster 
Morse had obtained the use of the " Saxon," a small steamer 
appropriated by General Butler for his headquarters' ser- 
vice. The permission did not in terms include the landing 
of the tents and baggage ; but in order that the men might 
have shelter from sun and storm the quartermaster landed 
the tents with the troops. The slight delay occasioned by 
this operation displeased General Butler ; and it is said that 
an accidental rap over the head from a tent pole, received 
while he was storming round among the men, as they were 
bringing the tents on shore, did not tend to allay his wrath. 
He forthwith placed Quartermaster Morse under arrest ; but 
did not keep him long, for a furious storm, which arose that 
night and lasted for two days, in which but for the tents and 
cooking apparatus so landed the men would have suffered 
both from rain and hunger, fully vindicated the quarter- 
master's action.' 

' Captain Morse was subsequently placed in very responsible positions 
by General Butler and stood high in his confidence. 


During tlieir stay at Ship Island the men lived on salt 
rations, the barrels containing which were rolled by hand 
for miles, and drew their water from shallow wells sunk in 
the sand. They were occupied chiefly in company drill, the 
deep sand making battalion drill difficult and indeed danger- 
ous, as was shown by many cases of hernia occurring 
among the troops. 

During the exciting scenes of the last week in April, at- 
tending Farragut's silencing of Forts Jackson and Saint 
Philip and the occupation of New Orleans, the Vermont 
regiments remained on Ship Island. They heard the boom- 
ing of the cannon, a hundred miles away, and at times the 
smoke of the conflicts and conflagrations was drifted over 
them by the southwest wind ; and they awaited impatiently 
the outcome of the enterprise. There was great rejoicing 
when, on the 2d of May, the news came that New Orleans 
had fallen, and that they were wanted there. General Sliep- 
ley, who had been left in command at Ship Island, was 
directed to occupy Forts Pike and Woods, guarding the 
entrance to Lake Pontchartraiu, which had been abandoned 
by the confederates, with the other defences of New Orleans. 
The detachment sent to Fort Pike consisted of companies 
B, C and thirty men of company D of the Seventh Vermont, 
under Major Holbrook. They proceeded thither in the gun- 
boats " New London " and " Calhoun " and occupied Fort 
Pike on the 5th of May. They found it a strong bastioned 
and casemated work, surrounded by a moat, and armed with 
heavy guns. In forty-eight hours they had removed the 
spikes from the guns and placed the fort in condition for 
defence. They remained in it for several weeks, during 
which period company B, Captain Cronan, was sent up Pearl 
Eiver in a gunboat, with a company of the Thirtieth Massa- 
chusetts, and captured there the steamer "White Cloud." 
They were fired on by guerrillas, during the expedition, and 
one man, Croydon B. Eowell of company B, received a 


wound from wliicli he died four days after — the first wound 
and death from a hostile bullet, in the regiment. 

When ordered to New Orleans the regiment embarked 
on the steamer "Whitman," an ill-fated craft which a few 
months after took fire and sank on the Mississippi, carrying 
down with her a considerable number of sick and wounded 
Union soldiers. Three hours after she started, in the early 
hours of the morning, the assistant engineer reported to 
Colonel Roberts the startling fact that the engineer was a 
rebel and that he was evidently preparing to blow up the 
boat. He had then let nearly all the water out of the boiler, 
doubled the head of steam and made ready a small boat, iu 
which he evidently designed to make his escape, leaving the 
agencies he had put in motion to effect the explosion of the 
boiler. Colonel Roberts at once placed him under arrest 
and ordered the assistant to take the boat back to Ship 
Island, where a trusty engineer was secured and the " Whit- 
man " started again. The passage was made by the shortest 
route, through Lake Pontchartrain, and on the 16th of May 
the regiment reported to General John W. Phelps, in com- 
mand at Carrollton, six miles up the river from New Orleans. 
It had a cordial welcome from General Phelps, and was com- 
fortably quartered in the buildings of the United States 
arsenal. Here the regiment had three and a half miles of 
earth-works to guard. The men at first enjoyed the new 
scenes, the groves of orange and lemon trees, and the black- 
berries, which grew abundantly about the camp. But during 
the month spent there the camp became unwholesome in 
consequence of the flooding of the ground around by a 
crevasse in the levee. The men had some severe fatigue 
duty, in protecting the camp from the incursions of the 
water, and when this receded, the air was contaminated by 
decomposing animal and vegetable matter left by the water. 
Colonel Roberts was prostrated with fever ; malarial diseases 
made a large sick-list ; the regiment had received no pay 


since leaving Rutland ; and mucli discontent prevailed. The 
heat was oppressive, and the men found even two hours of 
daily drill, morning and evening, a burden. 

On the 6tli of June an order from General Butler 
directed Lieut. Colonel FuUam, commanding, to prepare the 
regiment to embark on the steamer " Iberville," for some 
point not stated. On the 15th, after nine days of waiting, 
and while Lieut. Colonel Fullam was in New Orleans, where 
he spent a day in a vain endeavor to procure an interview of 
a few moments with General Butler, in order to represent 
the condition of the regiment and ascertain something about 
its probable destination, the " Iberville " appeared, bringing 
an order for immediate embarkation. The regiment went on 
board in haste, leaving much of its camp equipage, and was 
landed next day at Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, 
75 miles above New Orleans in a straight line, and double 
the distance by the river. There Lieut. Colonel Fullam re- 
ported to Brig. General Thomas Williams, in command at 
that point, and there Major Holbrook, with company B, re- 
joined the regiment, leaving company C and the detachment 
of company D, under command of Captain Porter, to garri- 
son Fort Pike. 

At this time, though Baton Rouge and Natchez had 
been taken by the fleet, a formidable obstacle to the 
opening of the Mississippi remained at Vicksburg. Here 
the bluifs, 200 feet above the river, afforded a commanding 
position ; and here the confederate general Martin L. 
Smith, a West Point graduate and oificer of engineers in the 
United States army before the war, had been sent, after the 
fall of New Orleans, with a large force, to finish and man the 
batteries which had been begun in April, upon a plan pro- 
posed by General Beauregard. Six batteries had been com- 
pleted and armed with heavy guns sent up from Pensacola, 
and other works were in active progress, when, on the 18th 
of May, tlie advance of Farragut's fleet summoned the city 


to surrender. General Smith declined the invitation, and as 
a reconnoissance satisfied General Williams that his force 
was insufficient to reduce the works, the expedition returned 
to Baton Eouge. A more formidable demonstration was 
made against Yicksburg a month later, in which the Seventh 
took part. 

On the 16th of June, General Butler ordered General 
"Williams to take his brigade of three regiments, which was 
to be strengthened bj the addition of the Seventh Yermont, a 
battery and a small cavalry force, and " proceed to Yicksburg 
with the flag officer and take the town or have it burned at 
all hazards." Under an evident impression that this might 
not be as easy to accomplish as to order, General Biitler 
further ordered General Williams to " send up a regiment or 
two at once and cut oflf the neck of land beyond Yicksburg, 
by means of a trench across." This trench he directed to be 
made " about four feet deep and five feet wide." "The river," 
added General Butler," will do the rest for us." ' This pro- 
ject for changing the channel of the Mississippi opposite 
Yicksburg was not a new idea. A line for such a canal had 
been laid out several years before by the State of Louisiana, 
during a dispute with the State of Mississippi over their 
boundaries, w'hich the former State hoped to settle by 
threatening to cut off Yicksburg from the river. The idea 
was eagerly adopted by General Butler, and was earnestly 
attempted by General Williams, and the attempt was subse- 
quently renewed, in vain, with immense outlay of labor, by 
General U. S. Grant, under instructions from AYashington, 
though he had little faith in the project. 

On the 20th of June the Seventh embarked on the 
*' Ceres " and "Morning Light " — to participate in this second 
expedition to Yicksburg. The naval force was a poAverful 
one, comprising three ships of war, ten gunboats and 16 
mortar-boats, all under Captain Farragut. The infantry 
force was insignificant for its purpose. General Williams's 


command consisted of the Ninth Connecticut, Thirtieth Mas- 
sachusetts and Fourth Wisconsin regiments, eight companies 
of the Seventh Vermont, Nim's Massachusetts battery and 
two sections of Everett's battery, numbering all told about 
2,500 men and 10 guns. The Seventh Vermont took ten 
days' rations but no camp equipage save a few cooking uten- 
sils; and for some reason only a week's supply of med- 
ical stores. The eight companies, with the field and staff 
officers, numbered about 750 men, about 100 being left in 
hospital at Carrollton in charge of Surgeon Kelley, and 30 
at Baton Eouge. Colonel Roberts and Adjutant Parker 
were left sick at Carrollton. Major Holbrook accompanied 
the regiment but was soon taken ill, and a full third of the 
line officers were ailing and really unfit for duty. As the 
expedition approached Grand Gulf, where the previous ex- 
j)edition had been fired into, an infantry force was landed, 
including a battalion of the Seventh under Lieut. Colonel 
Fullam, with orders to make a detour and approach the place 
from the rear. The march was commenced about mid-day ; 
the heat was intense, drinking water scarce, and a number of 
the men fell out on the march. The village was approached, 
as planned, from the rear, but might as well have been 
reached by a direct approach, as the confederate force there 
had decamped, and no resistance was offered, except the 
firing of a few stray shots from some houses in the outskirts. 
In retribution for the attack made on the previous expedi- 
tion and as a warning to other towns along the river General 
Williams ordered the village to be burned. The torch was 
accordingly applied that night and the forces proceeded up 
the river by the light of the blazing houses. The effect of 
the severe example thus made was such that no more at- 
tacks of the sort were made from inhabited towns, though 
the Union transports were repeatedly attacked by batteries 
established by the enemy at Grand Gulf and in the thick 
forests lining the shores of the river, to which but slight 


response could commonly be made by the small arms of the 
infantry on board. 

The transports bearing the regiment reached Vicksburg 
June 25th and made fast to the river bank a little below the 
enemy's batteries, just out of range of their guns. Next day 
the bombardment of the confederate works began and was 
continued by day and night, with no decisive result. Col- 
lecting a force of 1,200 negroes from the neighboring planta- 
tions. General Williams set them to work on the canal. In 
order to toughen the men of the Seventh he ordered them to 
drill daily with knapsacks. To this was soon added severe 
fatigue duty upon the canal. The health of the command at 
once began to suffer. Having no tents, the men were kept 
in confined quarters on board the transports, till the number 
of sick became so great as to require all the room on board, 
when the portion of the regiment fit for duty was directed to 
encamp on shore, where, sleeping on the ground and manag- 
ing with the aid of boughs and drift-wood and a few 
shelter tents to secure only an imperfect protection from 
the night damps, their condition w^as little if any bettered. 

The peninsula opposite Vicksburg, on which they were 
encamped, was partially protected from overflow by levees ; 
but, nevertheless, a considerable portion of it was annually, 
and sometimes oftener, submerged for weeks. At the time 
the regiment reached Vicksburg the river was still high from 
the Spring freshets, but it soon began to fall at the rate of 
nearly a foot a day, leaving here and there large pools of 
stagnant water covered with a thick green scum, containing, 
in the language of Assistant Surgeon Blanchard, " as much 
death to the square inch as it would be possible for the labor- 
atory of nature to compound." At night the lowlands were 
shrouded in dense fogs, surcharged with poisonous exhala- 
tions. The sickness inevitable amid such surroundings was 
greatly aggravated by the want of wholesome food, use of 
impure water, and lack of suitable medical stores, the small 


stock brought from Baton Rouge being soon exhausted, and 
only a scanty supply being obtainable from the fleet surgeons. 
The hopeless character of their task added to the depression 
of the troops. The garrison of Yicksburg consisted of five 
brigades — Helm's, Bowen's, Preston's, Statham's and Smith's 
— with a corresponding number of field batteries, in addition 
to the heavy guns upon the works, making an army of up- 
wards of 15,000 men, or more than four times the number of 
troops under General Williams. The confederate command- 
er. General Yan Dorn, was actively strengthening the forti- 
fications and mounting on the bluffs heavy guns brought from 
Mobile and Bichmond. Under date of July 2d Farragut re- 
ported : " General Williams has with him about 3,000 men. 
* * The army ofiicers have shown a great anxiety to do 
everything to help us, but their force is too small to attack 
the town. * * I am satisfied that it is not possible to taks 
Yicksburg without an army of 12,000 to 15,000 men." That 
the Federal force was utterly inadequate, was as apparent to 
every private as to Farragut and General Williams. The 
troops also soon lost their faith in the canal project. The 
soil was a stiff clay, and an excavation six or seven feet in 
depth failed to disclose the sandy substratum essential to the 
success of the project. Moreover, as the current of the river 
set against the shore opposite to the mouth of the canal, the 
river rendered no assistance, and finally, to make the scheme 
still more hopeless, the river began to fall faster than the 
canal could be deepened. The soldiers christened the trench 
" Butler's Ditch " and " Folly Creek," and anticipated no 
more from it than the confederates feared. 

In a letter to Adjutant General Washburn at this time 
Quartermaster Morse reported Colonel Roberts still sick at 
CarroUton; Major Holbrook recovering from illness; Adju- 
tant Parker sick ; Captains Peck, Ruggles, Young and 
Cronan, and Lieutenants Clark, Fish and Gates more or 
less disabled ; the weather hot and debilitating ; the men all 


weak and hardly able to be on duty ; the effective numbers 
of the Seventh very small, as of the other three Union regi- 
ments at Vicksburg, — while confederate prisoners taken re- 
ported an army of from 15,000 to 20,000 men behind the 
rebel works. 

The utter hopelessness of success in the object of the 
expedition, which pervaded the entire command, in time 
changed to apprehension for their own safety. Their posi- 
tion was in fact a perilous one. The fleet was their only 
protection from capture ; and this was not secure from at- 
tack. Some of the mortar-boats, anchored close to the 
Vicksburg shore, were much annoyed by sharp-shooters 
hidden on the thickly-wooded banks, and it was feared that 
an effort might be made to capture these vessels. For their 
better protection an infantry force, including a detail from 
the Seventh regiment under Lieutenant Jackson V. Parker 
of company B, was sent to the Vicksburg side of the river 
and posted in the swamps a short distance from the mortar- 
boats. The arrangement was calculated to invite an at- 
tempt to capture the infantry guard, which was soon made 
by the enemy, who also hoped to take a "blacksmith shop" 
or two — that being the name given by them to the mortar 
vessels, on account of the quantity of iron scattered from 
their 13-inch shells. 

The attack was made with considerable force ; the Federal 
pickets were driven in ; and the detachment fell back to the 
edge of the stream, closely followed by the enemy. As the 
latter emerged from the woods, they were met b}^ a shower 
of grape and canister from howitzers on the boats and beat 
a hasty retreat. A number were killed and wounded, and 
for days afterward the Union forces were collecting muskets 
and cartridge-boxes thrown down in their flight, and shoes 
left sticking in the mud. Lieutenant Parker and his nien 
spent about ten days in this dangerous position, continually 


exposed to scattering musketry fire from the confederate 

By the middle of July so many men were prostrated 
with disease that I was with difficulty the regiment could 
furnish its complement of soldiers for guard duty. In fact 
in the whole regiment, after the first fortnight, there were 
not at any one time over four officers and one hundred men 
fit for duty. Hardly a day passed without a death in the 
regiment, and in one day three men from one company died 
between rise and set of sun. In time their numbers be- 
came so reduced that none could be spared for funeral 
escorts and those who died were necessarily buried without 
any ceremony, in the army clothing in which they died. 
Malarial diseases pervaded the entire command. In one 
day seven men died in one of the other regiments. The 
stock of medicines became exhausted. The sickness on the 
flotilla also increased, until nearly every vessel bore the ap- 
pearance of a hospital, filled with sufferers from swamp fever, 
ague, dengue, dysentery and general debility. Dr. Blanch- 
ard, assistant surgeon of the Seventh, and the only physician 
they had with them, although himself weakened by the 
malaria, was untiring in his labors, and did all that patient 
skill could accomplish for the care of the sick ; but in spite 
of his care and that of his assistants, the sick list increased 
till it largely outnumbered the roll of effectives. 

On the 8th of July officers and men were cheered by 
the arrival of Colonel Roberts, who, having recovered, re- 
sumed command of the regiment. His passage up the river 
was not without danger, the transport which bore him and 
Lieutenant Clark having to run the gauntlet of some con- 
federate batteries at Grand Gulf. The cabins and state- 
rooms were riddled with shot, some of which passed en- 
tirely through the boat, wounding several of the crew. 

On the 15th of July a new peril was added to the situa- 
tion. On the morning of that day the formidable confederate 


iron-clad ram, Arkansas, wliicli had been built up the Yazoo 
Kiver, wliicli empties into the Mississippi just above Vicks- 
burg, suddenly made her appearance, driving before her two 
of the three light-draft gunboats which had been sent up 
earlier in the morning to look for the ram and had found 
her sooner than they expected to. The Arkansas passed 
down through the fleet, which was now above Vicksburg, 
receiving without damage the broadsides of Farragut's 
ships, none of which had steam enough up to enable them 
to engage her more actively, and proceeded to the shelter of 
the confederate batteries. This exploit of the Arkansas was 
a matter of deep mortification to Farragut, as it was of ex- 
ultation to the enemy, while the apparent immunity of the 
ram to injury from the fire of the fleet caused consternation 
among the Federal forces, especially those upon the un- 
armed transports and on shore. In apprehension of an 
immediate attack. General Williams issued orders to disem- 
bark the sick from the transports and move them across the 
peninsula, to be nearer the fleet. Surgeon Blanchard, de- 
scribing the execution of this unnecessary order, says : " By 
'• some means, I scarcely know how, we got three hundred 
*'sick and helpless men over to the levee opposite Vicks- 
"burg, without tents or blankets, and without food or med- 
'•'icines. Just at night it began to rain in a drizzling sort of 
"way. I managed to get a limited supply of crackers and 
"tea and spent the night wading through the mud distribut- 
"ing these articles of nourishment, which were all I could 
*' obtain. The next morning we received orders to return to 
"the transports." 

This last order was a result of Farragut's determination 
to take his fleet that night back to its former position below 
Vicksburg. About nine o'clock his ships got under 
way, and shortly afterwards the mortar-boats and Union 
batteries opened a furious bombardment. The enemy, an- 
ticipating Farragut's movement, at once set fire to tar bar- 


rels and bonfires to light up the river iu their front, and as 
the vessels of the fleet came within range of the Confederate 
guns, a terrific cannonade was begun. For over an hour 
the roar of hundreds of pieces of heavy ordnance filled 
the air. By midnight the entire squadron had passed the 
"batteries, and anchored opposite the Union transports be- 
low Vicksbuig. It had been part of the plan to attack and 
endeavor to destroy the Arkansas in the passage ; but as 
she lay in the shadow of the blufi", Farragut, who had in- 
tended to grapple her with his flag ship, failed to find her, 
in the darkness, and she was not harmed. An attempt, 
three days later, to destroy her, by the Union ram Queen 
of the West, had no better success. Although the fleet was 
not seriously damaged in re-passing the batteries it was felt 
by Farragut and Williams that the Union position was a 
hazardous one. Supplies were nearly exhausted, and it was 
with the greatest difficulty and danger that the line of com- 
munication was kept open. The Confederates had established 
new batteries at Grand Gulf, and no vessel could reach 
Ticksburg except under the convoy of gunboats. The river 
Avas rapidly falling, and Farragut became anxious lest his 
larger vessels should not be able to return to deep water. 
All welcomed the order, which came July 20th, to return to 
Baton Kouge. 

An incident attending the departure greatly enhanced 
the gloom which prevailed in the Seventh regiment. The 
transport Ceres, which was still little else than a floating 
hospital, was sent, at night, to take a cargo of the negroes 
who had been digging on the canal to a point twelve miles 
l)elow Yicksburg. A number of sick officers and men, in- 
cluding Colonel Roberts, Captains Peck, Dutton and Mosely, 
and Lieutenants Harris and Gates, remained on the steamer; 
and a guard, under Captain Lorenzo Brooks of company F, 
was placed on board. The enemy, noticing the departure 
of the Ceres without the escort of a gunboat, ran a light 



battery from Vicksburg down to a point about six miles be- 
low, where the river made a bend and the current was 
strong; and after the transport had landed her load and 
was on her return, opened tire on her from the shore. 
Owing to the curve in the channel, the steamer was within 
range for a long distance, and but for the facts that the 
night was dark, and that all her lights were immediately ex- 
tinguished, she would probably have been sunk. As it was 
she was struck twenty-three times by six-pound solid shot 
and shells. The second shot struck Captain Brooks, killing 
him instantly. Eight shots passed entirely through the 
boat, some of them below the water line, and one struck one 
of the engines, stopping it and leaving the boat turning 
round in the channel in front of the battery. The injury to 
the machiner}^, however, proved to be only the knocking of a 
lever-rod out of place. It was promptly replaced and the 
Ceres started along. The leaks were stopped by stuffing 
the shot-holes watli pieces of mattresses and clothing, and 
the boat soon passed out of range without further loss of 
life. The death of Captain Brooks was the first death 
among the commissioned officers of the Seventh, and was 
deeply felt throughout the regiment.' 

A second death among the line officers occurred the next 
day, in the hospital at Carrollton — that of Captain Charles 
C. Buggies of company I. He had been left sick at Ship 
Island on the departure of the regiment for New Orleans, 
and was subsequently transferred to the hospital at Carroll- 
ton, where upon convalescence he was placed in command 
of the soldiers in convalescent camp. Here, while engaged 
in the over-zealous discharge of his duties, he sustained a 

Captain Brooks was commissioned in January, 1862, and had proved 
himself an efficient and popular young officer. His body was taken to 
Baton Rouge, on the return of the regiment thither, the day after his 
death, and there buried with military honors. His remains were subse- 
quently removed to his home in Swanton. 


sunstroke, from which he died July 24th, 18G2. His un- 
timely death, in the 24th year of his age, was deeply de- 
plored by the officers and men, with whom he was deserv- 
edly a favorite.' 

A third death of an officer occurred four days later — that 
of Second Lieutenant Richard T. Cull, of company E, who 
succumbed to sickness and died, in his 43d year, at Baton 
Rouge, July 28th, 1862. He was buried at that place, with 
military honors. He was a faithful and capable officer and 
was sincerely mourned. 

A little expedition was undertaken by Quartermaster 
Morse about this time in order to procure some fresh 
meat, wdiicli was much needed, especially for the sick. 
Taking Captain Dutton and a guard of forty men, he went 
twenty miles back into the country and brought in thirty 
head of cattle. The confiscation by Morse and Dutton of 
some wagons and teams, taken to carry sick men, displeased 
General Williams, who placed both officers under arrest for 
appropriating private property. They were, however, soon 

The return to Baton Rouge occasioned a mournful 
amount of suffering among the sick men, who constituted 
fully one-half of the command at this time. On the 20tli 
350 sick men of the Seventh were removed from the hos- 
pital boats of the fleet, to the steamer Morning Light, 
the process occupying the entire day. The steamer was de- 
tained at Vicksburg for three days after Captain Kilburn 
of company D, who had charge of the transportation, had 
reported all ready to leave. The sick men, filling every 
available space on board, suffered gi'eatly from their crowded 

' His remains were temporarily interred at Carrollton, and were sub- 
sequently removed to his home in Poultney, where they were buried with 
impressive ceremonies, participated in by the citizens and Masonic lodges 
of several towns. 


condition and fi'om the intense lieat, and a number died on 
board the Morning Light before they started.' 

Dr. Blauchard was with them, but was himself suffering 
from malaria and, as heretofore, was without needed med- 
icines for the sufferers. At last, on the 24th, the order 
to move was received, and the Morning Light started 
down the river, in advance of the rest of the fleet, under the 
convov of a gunboat. That night both boats grounded and 
in spite of all efforts remained stationarj' till overtaken and 
ilragged out of the mud, the next day, by other steamers. 
During this detention two men died and were buried in 
their blankets, in trenches dug on shore. That evening 
they reached Baton Rouge, and during the night they were 
removed to a hotel on shore, which was occupied as a hos- 
pital. No less than six men died that night, during the re- 
moval. The main body of the expedition left Vicksburg on 
the evening of the 24th, the remainder of the Seventh bring- 
ing up the rear, and reached Baton Rouge Jul}^ 26th. 

The failure of this ill-starred expedition, ordered and 
conducted in opposition to the judgment and advice of ex- 
perienced naval and military men, was due to General But- 
ler's under-rating of the numbers and resources of the enemy. 
It formed the subject of a glowing congratulatory proclama- 
tion, issued from Richmond by the Confederate Secretary of 
War. For all the regiments of General Williams's command, 
and especially for the Seventh, it was a terrible, almost a 
destructive experience. The Seventh Vermont went to 
Vicksburg a body of some 700 effective men, eager for active 
service. It mustered on its return to Baton Rouge, thirty- 
six days after, less than one hundred men fit for duty ! In 
the course of a week after their return, however, a hundred 
convalescents reported for duty ; and to these, on the last 
day of July, were added a hundred men of companies C and 

' Statement of Captain John B.'Kilburn. 


D, who had been detached three months before to garrison 
Fort Pike, and had remained there until this time. 

Chaplain Frost resigned August 9th, and was succeeded 
by Kev, W. C. Hopkins, a son of Bishop Hopkins of Ver- 
mont and a worthy minister of the Episcopal church. 

The failure of the expedition against Yicksburg en- 
couraged the enemy to take the offensive, and on the very 
day that the last of the Union fleet left Vicksburg, General 
Van Doru despatched Major General John C. Breckenridge, 
with a force of 5,000 men, by rail, to Camp Moore, a 
Confederate rendezvous on the New Orleans railroad, GO 
miles northeast of Baton Rouge. He was there to be rein- 
forced by the brigade of General Buggies, and was then to 
march rapidly to Baton Rouge and overwhelm the Federal 
troops at that point. His ability to accomplish this was 
not doubted, for his force was double that of General Wil- 
liams, while the ram Arkansas was to co-operate with him 
and neutralize the aid of the Union gunboats. His success 
would inflict a severe loss on the Federal army in Louisiana ; 
would bring to the Confederate cause the prestige of re-tak- 
ing the capital of Louisiana ; would give the Confederates 
control of the navigation of the Red river, and reopen to the 
Confederacy, in Western Louisiana and Texas, a large area 
for supplies. Probably it was part of the plan, after the 
taking of Baton Rouge, to push a force down to CarroUton, 
and capture General Phelps's command at that point. 


General Breckenridge marched from Camp Moore July 
30th, with eighteen regiments and four batteries, in two 
divisions, commanded by Brig. Generals Ruggles and Clark 
— each division consisting of two brigades, commanded 
respectively by Brig. General Helm and Colonels Thomp- 
son, Allen and Hunt. To meet this formidable force 
General Williams had but six regiments, the Ninth Con- 


necticut, Fourteenth Maine, Thirtieth Massachusetts, Sev- 
enth Vermont, Sixth Michigan and Twenty-first Indiana; 
three light batteries, the Second, Fourth and Sixth Massa- 
chusetts ; and a company of Massachusetts cavahy. The 
effective force of all of these organizations was terribly re- 
duced by illness. The Seventh Vermont took less than 250 
muskets, out of over 700, into the battle. The batteries 
were so reduced that details had to be made from the in- 
fantry regiments to eke out their numbers, and they were 
short-handed at that. The six regiments did not take over 
2000 bayonets into action. 

Baton Rouge is on the east bank of the Mississippi, 
which runs north and south at that point. North of the 
town Bayou Gross opens from the river. The troops of 
Williams's command were encamped in the timber just out- 
side of the city, upon and between the three roads which 
radiate to the north and east — the Clinton road leading 
northerly ; the Greenwell Spring road to the northeast, and 
the Government or Clay Cut road to the east. 

General Thomas AVilliams was a brave, educated and 
experienced soldier, a graduate of West Point, who had seen 
service in the Mexican war, in which he was thrice brevetted 
for meritorious service. But for some unexplained reason, 
he had not fortified his j)osition at Baton Bouge. Though 
warned of the approach of Breckenridge with what there 
was every reason to suppose was a vastly superior force, not 
a shovelful of earth was moved for the protection of his 

In the afternoon of August 4tli General Williams, ap- 
prised by his scouts of the approach of the enemy, notified 
his regimental and battery commanders that an attack 
might be expected on the next morning. Before daylight of 
the 5th he disposed his forces in a single line with his left 
resting on Bayou Gross and his right extending across the 
Clay Cut Eoad, about a mile from the State capitol, in 


the following order, from left to right : Fourth Wisconsin, 
Ninth Connecticut, Fourteenth Maine, Twenty-first Indiana, 
Sixth Michigan. Two regiments, the Seventh Vermont and 
Thirtieth Massachusetts, formed a short second line partly 
in the rear of the Indiana and Michigan regiments, and ex- 
tending beyond them to the right. The batteries were posted 
at different points in the line. It was an unfortunate feature 
of this arrangement that the line was formed in the rear of 
the camps of two of the regiments. These were consequently 
occupied by Breckenridge in his first advance, and the tents 
and army stores in them were burned by the enemy before 
they left the field. 

The first firing occurred before light on the picket line. 

The battle commenced in earnest at day- 
August 5, 1862. , , , . , - -o . . ^1 
break, and m a dense tog. iiegmnmg on the 

right the firing extended along the whole front, and con- 
tinued with varying energy for over five hours. The Union 
line was out-flanked and forced back on its right ; but fresh 
positions were taken, farther back, by the regiments and bat- 
teries, and by nine o'clock the advance of the enemy was 
checked. His last and severest attack was made on the 
right. Here on the Federal side Colonel Koberts of the 
Seventh Vermont, Lieut. Colonel Keith, commanding the 
Twenty-first Indiana, and General Williams fell in turn, the 
first mortally wounded, the second severely wounded, and 
the last killed by a rifle ball through the chest. On the Con- 
federate side Brig. General Clark, two colonels commanding 
brigades and several regimental commanders were killed or 
severely wounded. The fighting swayed back at last to a 
point where the Union gunboats on the right could par- 
ticipate, and after the repulse of the enemy they, by the fire 
of their heavy guns, aided in his discomfiture. At ten 
o'clock Breckenridge withdrew his forces from the field to 
a position a mile in the rear, intending, as he states in 
his report, to renew the engagement, when the ram Arkan- 


sas, on whose co-operation lie had counted, should arrive. 
But the Ai'kansas did not appear, owing to some trouble 
with her machinery ; and when the Union gunboats attacked 
her next day, she was set on fire and blown up by her crew. 
Breckenridge thereupon retired ten miles to the Comite 
river, and thence to Port Hudson. The Union troops held 
the field, buried the dead of both sides and took care of 
large numbers of the Confederate wounded. The losses on 
the Union side were 8-4 killed, 266 wounded and 33 missing 
— an aggregate of 383. The tabular statement of the Con- 
federate losses shows 84 killed, 313 wounded and 56 missing 
— aggregate 453. The tables do not include a force of 
" partisan rangers " and some militia attached to Brecken- 
ridge's command. Lieutenant Godfrey Weitzel, of Butler's 
staff, who was despatched to the field immediately after the 
battle, reported on the 7th that they had " already buried 
over 250 rebels." Breckenridge abandoned five caissons, 
and one of his regiments lost its colors." It was a mortify- 
ing repulse for the Confederates, but the Union troops were 
too much enfeebled by illness to pursue.' 

As regards the part taken by the Seventh Vermont in 
the battle, the morning report of the regiment, the day 
before, showed an aggregate of 311 officers and men pres- 
ent for duty. About 200 men were sick in hospital, and 
nearly 300 sick in camp. Two ofiicers and 42 men were on 
guard and picket duty, leaving 267 ofiicers and men to form 
in line. The regiment had in the line about 225 bayonets. 
Captain Peck and several men left their beds in hospital, in 
order to take part in the fighting. Major Holbrook, as field- 
officer of the day, accompanied by Lieutenant Clark, spent 
the night before the battle in inspection of the extended 

' Those of the Fourth Louisiana, captured by the Sixth Michigan. 

!"'Our forces cannot pursue; only about 1200 of the 2500 engaged 
could march five miles. " —Lieut. Weitzel's report. 


picket line. About three o'clock A. m., the night being foggy 
and very dark, picket firing began in front, on the Greenwell 
Spring road. This appears from General Breckenridge's re- 
port to have been occasioned by a company of mounted Con- 
federate " rangers " pushing forward through the rebel 
picket line. They were fired on by the Union pickets, and 
retreating in haste, stampeded the brigade of General Helm, 
whose troops fired on each other, and General Helm was 
dangerously injured by the fall of his horse ; Lieutenant 
Todd, one of his aids, was killed ; a line ofiicer and a number 
of men were wounded, and two guns of Cobb's Kentucky 
battery were disabled in some way in the panic. Major 
Holbrook, hearing the firing, hurried to the spot and rode 
through and beyond his own picket line without knowing it 
till he was halted and fired on by the enemy. Turning 
back he was fired on again by the Union pickets ; but the 
darkness prevented any accurate aim and he received no 
injury. He was deploying a line of skirmishers when the 
enemy's skirmishers advanced, their line extending to the 
Union left across the Clinton road, and the Union skirmish- 
ers fell back gradually to the main line. The camps were 
of course aroused by the firing in front and the regiments 
fell into line, in the darkness. 

General Williams had apparently left his plan of de- 
fense to be formed after the enemy's plan of attack should be 
developed ; and the only direction received by Colonel Rob- 
erts the night before, was to form his regiment in front of 
his camp in case of attack, and await orders, with discretion- 
ary permission to move to any point where the enemy was 
attacking in force. General Williams expected that the main 
attack would be made upon his left, with the co-operation of 
the Confederate ram Ai'kansas, and his expectation was con- 
firmed when the advance of the enemy's skirmishers upon his 
left was reported to him by Major Holbrook. It was abovit 
half past three o'clock when the Seventh fell into line in front 


of its camp, which was on Florida street, on the right of the 
Greenwell Spring road. The regiment was standing in line, 
and under fire from the Confederate batteries, when Major 
Holbrook, who had been sent by General Williams to look 
after the skirmish line on the right, stopped on his way 
thither to inform Colonel Eoberts that General Williams ex- 
pected the main attack upon his left. Colonel Roberts ac- 
cordingly moved the regiment to the left to support that por- 
tion of the line. As it was impossible to distinguish objects 
at any distance in the fog, Lieut. Colonel Fuliam was sent 
forward to learn the position of the line in front ; but he 
could only discover that the Twenty-first Indiana, which had 
been there, had moved to the right. In the meantime the 
firing became heav}^ on the right, Avhere Ruggles's brigade 
was making a determined assault, which fell chiefly upon the 
Fourteenth Maine and Twenty-first Indiana. Seeing that he 
was not needed where he was, and his men being in danger 
from a section of Manning's battery, which was j)osted a 
short distance to his rear and was pitching round-shot and 
shell into as well as over his line. Colonel Roberts moved his 
regiment back to its former position in front of his camp. 
Through the smoke and fog which screened everything in 
front came many bullets and occasional discharges of grape ; 
but Colonel Roberts hesitated to return the fire for fear that 
the Indiana regiment might be in front of him, and his men 
were standing motionless, Avlien General Williams rode up 
and ordered him to open fire.' He accordingly gave the 
order to " fire by battalion." Several volleys had been fired, 
when an officer of the Twenty-first Indiana came back to 
say that the Seventh was firing into them. Colonel Roberts 
at once ordered his regiment to cease firing. The order had 

^ "The regiment stood unmoved under fire without returning the 
same, until ordered by General "Williams to load and fire as rapidly as pos- 
sible. That order I heard myself, from the lips of General Williams, not 
twenty minutes before he fell." — Statement of Captain S. Dutton. 


scarcely been obeyed, when he fell with a bullet wound in 
the neck and as he was borne to the rear a second bullet en- 
tered his thigh and passed upward into the abdomen, inflict- 
ing a mortal wound. Lieut. Colonel Fullam was not with 
the regiment when Colonel Eoberts fell, having been sent 
back to tell Manning's battery that they were endangering 
the Seventh Vermont, and the command devolved for the 
time being on Captain Porter. General Williams had passed 
on to the right, and discovering that the enemy was pressing 
around his right flank, had ordered the three regiments on 
that flank to fall back a short distance and the movement 
had begun when General Williams fell. Captain Porter 
moved the Seventh back, to correspond with the retrograde 
movement on the right, to a position in the rear of its camp, 
when Lieut. Colonel Fullam returned through a shower of 
bullets which wounded his horse and assumed the command 
of the regiment. During the next hour the enemy made 
three attempts to carry a piece of woods on the right, but 
was each time repulsed and finally retired. The regiment 
was then posted, with the rest of the right wing, near the 
penitentiary grounds, and stood to arms during the day ; but 
the enemy did not again advance. The loss of the Seventh 
Vermont in this action was one officer and nine men 
wounded (of whom three died of their wounds), and five 
missing. Colonel Roberts sank gradually from internal 
hemorrhage, and died at noon of the 7th. He was the first 
field-ofiicer of a Vermont regiment killed in battle. His 
death was a great grief to the officers and men of his com- 
mand and occasioned deep feeling and sorrow in Vermont. 
Corporal Bertrand Billings of company C, received a ball 
through his body and died the next day, Charles Larrabee 
of company K was shot in the chest and died on the 24th. 
Jack Russell, a lad too young to enlist, who accompanied 
Major Holbrook from Vermont as his servant, w^as also 
killed. He had followed Major Holbrook to the picket line, 


on the riglit, and was shot through tlie body. His body was 
found next day at the extreme front.' 

The first and only instance of official censure of a Ver- 
mont organization during the war — a wholly unmerited cen- 
siire as will be shown — occurred in connection with this 
engagement. Four days after the battle General Bvitler 
issued a magniloquent order, in which he enormously exag- 
gerated the losses of the enemy and the captures made by 
the Union troops ; complimented the latter without excep- 
tion, and authorized the several regiments engaged to in- 
scribe "Baton Rouge" on their colors. A few days after, a 
report reached the officers of the regiment that statements 
attributing misconduct to the Seventh Vermont had been 
made and that General Butler was going to make an example 
of the regiment. The rumor was confirmed at an interview 
between General Butler and Major Holbrook, on the 26th, in 
which after informing the latter that he had been recom- 
mended for the vacant colonelcy General Butler further 
informed him that he had prepared an order censuring the 
regiment for " discreditable behavior in the face of the 
enemy." Major Holbrook denied in detail the statements 
upon which General Butler based his blame of the regiment ; 
gave him the names of eye-witnesses of high standing who 
would testify to the good conduct of the Seventh ; protested 
against his condemning the regiment unheard ; and asked 
for a court of inquiry to establish the truth in the case. His 
request and protest were in vain, and on the 30tli the order, 
prepared before the interview, was promulgated. In this 
order the censure of the Seventh Vermont was enhanced by 

^ The wounded were, company C, Corporal Aaron Piper, arm ampu- 
tated; Henry Clark, foot; company B, Edward Din, wrist; James Mc- 
Garry, ankle ; company D, Thomas Bixby, head ; company E, T. P. 
Stearns, side; company I, Henry Beebe, slightly. J. Sullivan, J. Fitz- 
gerald and T. Donpier of company K, and C. A. Smith of company H, 
were reported missing. 


extended and elaborate praise bestowed on other troops and 

individuals. So far as it related to tlie Yermont regiment it 

■was as follows : 

Gknekal Orders, ) Headqttarters Department of the Gulf, (^ 

No. G2^. >" New Orleans, August 25th, 1862. j 

The commanding general has carefully revised the official reports of 
the action of August 5th at Baton Rouge, to collect the evidence of the 
gallant deeds and meritorious services of those engaged in that brilliant 
victor}^ The name of the lamented and gallant General Williams has 
already passed into history. Colonel Roberts of the Seventh Vermont vol- 
unteers, fell mortally wounded while rallying his men. He was worthy 
of a better disciplined regiment and a better fate. Glorious as it is to die 
for one's country, yet his regiment gave him the inexpressible pain of see- 
ing it break in confusion when not pressed by the enemy and refuse to 
march to the aid of the outnumbered and almost overwhelmed Indianians. 
The Seventh Vermont regiment, by a fatal mistake, bad already fired into 
the same regiment they had refused to support, killing and wounding 
several. Tlie commanding general therefore excepts the Seventh Vermont 
from General Orders No. 57, and will not permit their colors to be in- 
scribed with a name which could bring to its officers and men no proud 
thought. It is further ordered that the colors of that regiment be not 
borne by them until such time as they shall have earned the right to them, 
and the earliest opportunity will be given this regiment to show whether 
they are worthy descendants of those who fought beside Allen and with 
Starke at Bennington, 

The following have honorable mention. * * * John Donoghue, 
Fourth Massachusetts battery, who brought off from the camp of the Sev- 
enth Vermont regiment their colors at the time of their retreat. * * * 
By command of Major-General Butler. 

First Lieutenant and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General. 

The official communications and proceedings which fol- 
lowed this extraordinary proclamation are as follows * 

Camp Williams, La., Aug. 31st, 1863. 
General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant General, Washington, D. C. : 

In justice to the regiment which I have the honor to command, the 
Seventh regiment of Vermont Volunteers, I find myself under necessity of 
calling for an examination into the statements made by the major-general 
commanding the department in Order No. 62^, dated August 25th, 1863, 
which are calculated, in my opinion, to bring unmerited disgrace upon 
the regiment and the State from which it comes. I respectfully request 
that a court of inquiry may be assembled as soon as convenient to inves- 


tigate and report upon the battle of Baton Rouge and the part taken in 
that engagement by my regiment, with the view that justice may be done 
to it and the service. Regretting exceedingly to find myself impelled to 
ask for the scrutiny of a victory which should fill all generous hearts only 
with gratitude and pride, I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfull}', 
your obedient servant, 


Major, Commanding Seventh Regiment Vermont Volunteers. 

Camp Parapet, La., September 2d, 1862. 
It is much to be regretted that a regiment in this quarter should be 
compelled to defend itself against unmerited dishonor from its command- 
ing general as well as against the enemy and extraordinary exposure and 
disease ; but I concur with Major Holbrook in the necessity of an inves- 
tigation into the facts connected with the battle of Baton Rouge by a court 
of inquiry, with the view of doing justice to the Seventh Vermont Volun- 
teers and to the service. 



Headquarters Department of the Gulf,) 
New Orleans, La., September 14th, 1862.) 

Brigadier- General TTiomas, Adjutant-Oeneral : 

General: I inclose the somewhat anomalous application of Major 
Holbrook, commanding the Seventh regiment Vermont Volunteers, with a 
copy of the general order complained of. It will be seen that I only give 
the result of official reports, so that I do not feel personally touched by the 
matter or manner of the communication. Of the conduct of Major Hol- 
brook there is no complaint; being field officer of the day, of the post, he 
was not in the action. If consistent with the rules of the service to in- 
quire into the resume by the commanding general of the events of an ac- 
tion, I should be glad to have it done. For if the regiment has been 
unjustly treated it could give no one more pleasure than myself to see it 
righted. As there has been some rivalry of feeling I do not think it would 
be best to detail a court from the officers of the regiments at Baton Rouge. 

1 may further say that 1 suggested to Major Holbrook that he might select 
his court of inquiry from any of the officers here not of that brigade. 

Major-General, Commanding. 

Washington, October 3d, 1863. 
Maj.- General Benjamin F. Butler^ New Orleans: 

General : Your letter of September 14th, inclosing the application of 
Major W. C. Holbrook for a court of inquiry on the conduct of the Seventh 
Vermont Volunteers at the battle of Baton Rouge, has been received and 


referred to the Secretary of War. No officer can at this time be sent to 
New Orleans to constitute such a court. The course suggested by you in 
regard to the proposed investigation seems unobjectionable in all respects. 
You have full authority to adopt it. 



MoNTPELiEK, Vt., October 13th, 1862. 
Hon. E. M. Stanton: 

I wrote you a few weeks since of the charges of General Butler in his 
order No. 62j, against the Seventh Vermont regiment in the battle at 
Baton Rouge. These charges are believed to be grossly unjust, and have 
stirred up the people of Vermont. Nothing short of an entirely impartial 
court of inquiry, to be appointed at and sent on from Washington, will 
satisfy our people. They are brave, loyal and patriotic to the core, and 
for that very reason will not quietly sit down under charges which reflect 
upon the State. May 1 have assurances that action will be taken at Wash- 
ington ? 


Governor of Vermont. 

The Legislature of Vermont was in session when General 
Butler's order reached the State, and on the 13th of Octo- 
ber the following resolution, introduced by Mr. Houghton of 
Pawlet, was adopted by the House : 

Resolved, That His Excellency, the Governor, be requested to demand 
an investigation by the War Department at Washington of all the circum- 
stances relating to the conduct of the Seventh Vermont regiment at the 
battle of Baton Rouge. And be it further 

Resolved, That if it appears that the charges against said regiment for 
cowardice and unsoldier-like conduct are false, that the governor be re- 
quested to demand the immediate transfer of the Seventh regiment to some 
other department of the United States service. 

The Vermont Senate first adopted a resolution asking 
the governor for any information in his possession touching 
the alleged misconduct of the Seventh Vermont, to which 
Governor Holbrook made reply that though his information 
was in the shape of letters and statements not suitable to be 
laid before the Senate, he believed injustice had been done 
to the regiment and that the credit of the State and of the 
regiment demanded a thorough investigation. The follow- 


iug resolution, introduced October 16th by Senator George 
F. Edmunds of Chittenden county, was then adopted : 

Whereas, Charges of misconduct have been made by the general com- 
manding the Department of the Gulf against the Seventh regiment Ver- 
mont Volunteers. And 

WJiereas, It is due to the honor and dignity of the State that such 
charges be fully investigated, in order that any injustice therein may be 
publicly declared, therefore, 

Resolved, By the Senate and House of Representatives, that the gov- 
ernor be requested to demand of the President of the United States, as an 
act of justice to said regiment and to the State of Vermont, that a board 
of inquiry be appointed to hear and determine such charges as soon as 
may be, according to the usual course of military inquiry. 

In supporting this resolution Mr. Edmunds said : 

The subject touched the pride of Vermont, her sense of 
honor and love of justice. He had good reason to believe 
that the charges against the Seventh were invented (he used 
the term deliberately) by somebody. He had as good rea- 
son as anybody could have, to believe that the regiment 
stood its ground under fire, with orders not to fire, until they 
were ordered by General Williams himself. It was in 
obedience to that order that they fired as they did ; so that 
nothing like the charges alluded to in the order of the gen- 
eral commanding could be the result of any "mistake" whicli 
they or their officers made. All the testimony, aside from 
that, showed that the regiment behaved gallantly in every 
respect. It had been said that they left their colors on the 
held. The identical " colors " were at the governor's room. 
They were a small, insignificant piece of bunting, and it 
need not surprise any one if they were left sticking in the 
mud somewhere on the battlefield where nobody could notice 
them, all frittered as they were by the winds and rain of the 
Mississippi valley, until there was not enough silk left to 
make a pocket-handkerchief for a pauper. 

In due time a Board of Inquiry was ordered by General 
Butler, and he forwarded its proceedings to Governor Hol- 
brook, with the remark that he trusted that when he (the 
governor) read the proceedings he would see that " no injus- 
tice had been done to the regiment [save] in the single par- 


ticular of its colors." The proceedings of the Board, as 
officially reported, were as follows • 

BoAED OF Inquiry. 

Dbpabtment of thk Gulf, } 

City of New Oelbans, October 23d, 1862. ) 

Pursuant to special orders from department headquarters, viz.: 

Special Orders,) Headquarters Department op the Gulp,) 

No. 463. J New Oeleans, October 2lst, 1862. | 

A board of Inquiry, consisting of the following officers: Colonel H. C. Doming, 
president; Colonel J. W. Turner, Lieut. Colonel A. B. Farr, Lieutenant W. L. G. 
Greene, recorder. Is ordered to examine and report upon the facts and circumstances 
e'.atlve to the condition as to discipline and efficiency of the Seventh regiment Vermont 
Volunteers at the time of the battle of Baton Rouge and the conduct of the officers and 

men In that action. 

By order of Major-General Butler, 

Captain and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General 

Department of the Gulf, 1 
New Orleans, November 3d, 1863. ) 

The board met pursuant to adjournment. Present, all the members. 
The board, having fully weighed and considered the evidence, report as 
follows : It appears from the evidence that when the Seventh regiment 
Vermont Volunteers was called upon to participate in the battle of Baton 
Rouge it had been very much reduced in numbers and doubtless in morale 
by the severities of the campaign at Vicksburg and by long confinement on 
board transports. On the morning of the battle the regiment had present 
for duty about 250 men, about 520 men sick, of whom 200 were in hospital. 
About 225 men were in line estrly in the action. The commanding officer 
of the regiment. Colonel Roberts, fell under the sharpest volley that was 
fired that day, and shortly after his fall the regiment fled about 100 feet to 
the rear and to the cover of some gullies in a disorderly manner. About 
two-fifths of the men present for duty did not return to the position in line 
of battle during the day. It appears that early in the action Lieut. Colonel 
Fullam had been dispatched by his colonel to see to the firing of a battery 
which was endangering the regiment ; that Major Holbrook was officer of 
the day. Upon the fall of the colonel, therefore, the command of the 
regiment devolved temporarily upon Captain (now Major) Porter, who 
seems to have behaved creditably in a trying position. When the lieuten- 
ant-colonel returned he assumed command of the regiment. The only 
tLStimony before the board discreditable to him is the following, from 
Lieut. Colonel Elliott's deposition : 

I did se3 something in the conduct of officers which I thought deserving of censure. 
I saw Colonel Fullam, after they had fallen back, seeking protection, drawing his regi- 
ment up In a ravine. I asked him what he was doing there. He said he was getting 
his men into a sheltered position. I saw no other officers show a disposition to evade 
duty. I think the regiment was over 200 yards In the rear of their camp. 



So far as any evidence appears it would seem that the line officers be- 
haved well during the day. It appears that the Seventh Vermont regi- 
ment, or a part of it, did fire into the Twenty-first Indiana, but there is an 
exculpation to be found in the testimony of the commanding officer of the 
Indiana regiment. Captain Grimsley, to wit : 

Occupying the position they did the Seventh had no means of knowing where we 
were. * * » My impression Is that when we received the volleys from the Seventh 
Vermont we ran under a Are which was already going on. 

It appears also from the testimony of various witnesses that the field 
was covered by dense fog and smoke, so that it was quite impossible to 
distinguish a friend from a foe at the distance the two regiments were 
apart ; and, moreover, that the position of the Indiana regiment was very 
frequently changed. It does not appear that any orders were communi- 
cated to the Vermont regiment during the day which they disobeyed. It 
appears that th^ colors of the regiment were retained by the color guard 
during the action, and were brought off the field by the guard when the 
regiment fell back. It appears that the camp colors alleged by Captain 
Manning, of the Fourth Massachusetts battery, to have been brought from 
the camp of the Seventh Vermont by John Donoghue, were two markers of 
the form in common use, and one small United States flag, which had been 
used for no military purpose for a long time previously. 

Colonel Twelfth Reg't Conn. Vols., President of the Court. 


Colonel and C. S. 
A. B. FARR, 
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-sixth Reg't Mass. Vols. 
William L. G. Greene, 

Lieutenant Second Louisiana Volunteers, Recorder. 

Headquartees Department of the Gulf, > 
New Orleans, November 6th, 1862. ) 

The commanding general has examined with care the findings, pro- 
ceedings, and testimony of the court of inquiry, whereof Colonel Henry C. 
Deming is president, in the matter of the Seventh regiment Vermont Vol- 
unteers, and approves the proceedings and findings. It is apparent that 
eveiy conclusion arrived at by the court is supported by the tc;stimony of 
the witnesses called on behalf of the regiment. The general is constrained 
to find that the charge against the regiment of breaking in disorder before 
the enemy is fully proved. Two -fifths of the regiment never returned to 
the line of battle after they broke and fled ; that the regiment did fire upon 
the Indiana regiment, and that that was the only firing done by the regi- 
ment that day, although they held the center of the line, which was most 
hotly pressed. The general is glad to find that most of the line officers 


behaved well, and that the official reports which led him to believe that 
the regimental colors were lost by the regiment were mistakes, and there- 
fore he has pleasure in ordering the colors of the regiment to be restored to 
the regiment with privilege to carry them, but he cannot order them to be 
inscribed with the name of the glorious battle of Baton Rouge. The gen- 
eral doubts not that now, having an officer as commander who will not 
form them out of sight for shelter in a ravine during an action, as did their 
late Ueutenant-colonel, the regiment will in its next action retrieve its posi- 
tion and earn a proud name for itself and State. 

Major-General, Commanding. 

Taking his time, two weeks later General Butler issued 
the following order : 

Gbnbeal Orders, \ Hkadqtjaeters Department of the Gulf, \ 

No. 98. i New Orleans, November 20th, 1862 j 

The commanding general, upon the finding of the board of inquiry 
.upon the conduct of the Seventh regiment Vermont Volunteers at the bat- 
tle of Baton Rouge, learns that he was led into a mistake by the official re- 
ports of that action as to the loss by that regiment of its colors, it proving 
to have been the camp color left in camp and not the regimental color that 
was brought off the field by the Massachusetts battery. He therefore has 
pleasure in ordering the regimental colors to be restored to the regiment, 
not doubting that it will in its next action earn for itself a position and 
name which will be a credit to itself, its State and country. 

By command of Major-General Butler, 

Assistant Adjutant-General and Chief of Staff. 

General Butler's duplicity in his statements in regard to 
the colors of the regiment, in his letter to Adjutant-General 
Thomas, in his approval of the findings of the board of in- 
quiry, and in General Order No. 93, is apparent. His re- 
peated assertion that he was led by the official reports to 
believe that the Seventh Vermont lost its regimental colors, 
was deliberately false. The " official reports " contain but 
one allusion to the matter, which is the statement in the re- 
port of Captain Charles Manning of the Fourth Massachu- 
setts battery, that "John Donoghue brought ofi" from the 
camp of the Seventh Vermont regiment their camp colors at 
the time of the retreat." Whatever " camp colors " may be, 
General Butler understood them to be one thing, and regi- 


mental colors another ; for lie noted the distinction between 
them. At no time could General Butler have had reason to 
suppose that the Seventh lost its regimental colors. He 
knew before the publication of his original censui'e, that the 
regiment did not lose its colors. His assertion that he was 
"led to believe," by the reports, that the regimental colors 
were lost upon the field, was a transparent falsehood. The 
truth is that General Butler had a grudge against the Seventh 
Vermont, which he was determined to gratify. This was well 
known to many in General Butler's command. It was alluded 
to by General John W. Phelps, in a letter to Colonel Hol- 
brook, quoted by the latter in his history of the Seventh 
Vermont, as follows : 

The general [Butler] began quarreling wuth officers of 
the Seventh almost before it had fairly landed at Ship Island, 
and he seems to have kept it up to the last, pursuing the 
Seventh through the strife and havoc of battle, wOiere he was 
not personally present, and under circumstances of difficulty, 
crowned with success, where a generous spirit would have 
been disposed to overlook minor faults, even if they had 
been committed. What his motives were for thus pursuing 
the Seventh, and seeking to incite variance between that 
regiment and the Twenty-first Indiana regiment, I cannot 
say ; but it is evident that if he [Butler] were to run for the 
presidency in the ensuing election of 1864, the large electoral 
vote of Indiana might be of great moment to him, and that 
it would be a good bargain to win it even at the expense of 
losing the Whig vote of Vermont. But whatever the objects 
of General Butler may have been, they were little in accord 
with the occasion that called for military service in the 
Southwest in 1862, wdiich was the most important theatre of 
action of the whole war. 

The conduct of General Butler and the result of the 
court of inquiry must be judged in the light of this personal 
spite against the Seventh. The charge that the regiment 
lost its colors, General Butler was compelled to retract as 
publicly as he had made it ; and his further charge that the 
regiment "broke in confusion when not pressed by the 


enemy " could after this have Httle weight of its own. But 
how about the statement of the board of inquiry that the 
regiment " fled one hundred feet to the rear in a disorderly 
manner ? " In regard to this finding it is to be remembered 
that the board consisted of officers of General Butler's com- 
mand, selected by himself. General Butler indeed states 
that they were selected by Major Holbrook. But this is 
contradicted by that officer. Major Holbrook says: "He 
[General Butler] first selected them and then magnanimously 
asked if I had any objection to the members. I declined to 
become sponsor for a court convened under his direction." 
One of the members of the board, Commissary Turner, was 
a member of General Butler's staflf. Another, Lieutenant 
Greene, was an officer of a colored regiment, who owed his 
appointment to General Butler. All, of course, were espe- 
cially anxious not to offend General Butler. It was fortunate 
that the regiment came off as well as it did, at the hands of 
a board so constituted. A truly impartial court could have 
reached no such conclusion. 

Reviewing the evidence, it appears that the original 
charge against the regiment was made by Captain James 
Grimsley, who commanded the Twenty-first Indiana after 
its lieutenant colonel was wounded. After describing the 
situation of his regiment, as about surrounded by the 
enemy, it having, as he said, a regiment of Louisiana troops 
in its front, a battalion deployed as skirmishers uncom- 
fortably near on its right, "which opened on us a most 
galling fire," while " another or two regiments formed in our 
camp opened upon our rear a hot fire," Captain Grimsley 
adds : 

Our fighting now became upon the principle of "every 
man for himself." * -^^ •» To add to the danger and 
desperation of our situation, the Seventh Vermont, from 
their camp back of us, opened a fire in the direction of all 
engaged, which killed many of our own men outright ««?4 


wounded several more. At this we gave back, when we met 
General "Williams and acquainted him with the fact. He 
gave the Vermonters a severe reprimand and ordered them 
forward to our support. We reformed and moved down to 
our old position. " * * At the most critical period of 
the fight the Seventh Vermont regiment, which was ordered 
by General Williams to support us, refused to do so. 

These statements of Grimsley comprise everything in the 
reports of partici])auts in the battle, that in any way reflects 
upon the conduct of the Seventh Vermont. Opposed to them 
is the statement in the official report of Colonel N. A. M. 
Dudley of the Thirtieth Massachusetts, who commanded the 
right wing of General Williams's line. After mentioning the 
fact that Manning's battery fell back " with considerable 
confusion, leaving one piece and caisson," Colonel Dudley 
says : 

Captain Manning quickly rallied his men and went into 
battery on the right of the Twenty-first Indiana, well sup- 
ported on the right by the Seventh Vermont, Lieut. Colonel 
Fullam (Colonel Roberts having been mortally wounded), 
and with this battery did good service. In the meantime 
the enemy appeared in strong force directly in front of the 
Twenty-first Indiana, Seventh Vermont and Thirtieth Mas- 
sachusetts. At one time these three brave regiments stood 
face to face with the enemy within 40 yards of each other. 
For full one hour the contest for this piece of wood was ter- 
rific. * * * At this juncture of the contest I ordered 
Lieutenant Trull to fire his three left pieces obliquely across 
the front of the Twenty-first Indiana, Thirtieth Massachu- 
setts and Seventh Vermont. This was the turning point on 
the right wing. This galling fire of canister, with the terri- 
ble discharge of the musketry of three regiments, effectually 
silenced the enemy's fire, and they withdrew again to the 
fields in the rear. * * * It cannot be expected that I 
should mention all the brave exploits of persons or even 
regiments, particularly on an occasion when all did so well. 
Our lines were very much extended and I frequently neces- 
sarily found myself separated from each regiment ; but on no 
occasion did I see a single regiment misbehave. All seemed 
to act with a coolness and determination that surprised even 
ourselves after the excitement of the action was over. 


That under the circumstances any serious misconduct 
on the part of the Seventh Vermont regiment could have 
escaped Colonel Dudley's knowledge is not supposable. His 
report, confirmed by others, shows that there were other 
troops beside the Seventh that fell back, some of them "in 
confusion," whose conduct should also have been rebuked 
by General Butler, if he was disposed to distribute his cen- 
sure impartially. 

Before the board of inquiry, Captain Grimsley, while in 
the main sustaining his report, varied from it in an impor- 
tant point by testifying that when the Seventh Vermont 
moved to the rear they moved in good order " as though 
they might have had an order so to move." 

Colonel Dudley testified : 

That the Seventh was under his command during the 
latter part of the action, he being senior officer of the right 
wing ; that he saw nothing to censure in the conduct of the 
Seventh ; that the first he saw of the Seventh was when Gen- 
eral Williams sent him an order to take back his command 
to the neighborhood of Boulevard street; that in executing 
this movement he found the Seventh in the rear of their 
tents ; that he asked what they were doing there, and they 
said they had fallen back with the rest ; that he then gave 
them the order to fall back ; that at that time there were 
regiments in their rear — the Fourteenth Maine was in their 
rear ; that the only troops in front of them was the Sixth 
Michigan and Nim's battery ; that he gave the Seventh two 
orders himself, both of which they obeyed ; that he had no 
knowledge of any of the orders which he sent by staff officers 
being disobeyed; that he did not know anything of the firing 
into the Twenty-first Indiana by the Seventh; that the 
Twenty-first was scattered over the field very much, and it 
was impossible to tell where they were, and they even com- 
plained of his regiment firing into them ; that he doubted 
very much whether they were fired into from the rear at 

Lieutenant Frederick M. Norcross of the Thirtieth Mas- 
sachusetts testified : 

That he was present at the battle of Baton Kouge and 


acted as aid to Colonel Dudley, and had occasion to notice 
the conduct of the Seventh Vermont ; that there was nothing 
unfavorable in their conduct which attracted his attention ; 
that he did not at any time see any disorder in their ranks ; 
that he was generally posted near them and saw the regi- 
ment when the general order was given for the whole line to 
fall back; that they fell back Avith the rest in good order 150 
yards ; that this was about eight A. M. ; that the falling back 
was by order of General Williams to the whole right wing ; 
that the Seventh did not fall back any further than the rest 
of the force, but with the line. 

Major Holbrook, Captains Porter, Barber, Dutton and 
Cronan, and Lieutenants Parker and Woodman testified in 
direct contradiction of the statements attributing to the 
Seventh misconduct and refusal to support the Indiana 
regiment. Captain Porter testified : 

That he was in command of the regiment after Colonel 
Roberts fell for about twenty miniites ; that Colonel Roberts 
was not killed while rallying his men ; that soon after the 
line was formed General Williams rode iip and ordered the 
Seventh to commence firing ; that balls were coming at it 
pretty fast ; that the colonel's horse became unmanageable 
and he dismounted, and about the same time an ofiicer from 
the Indiana regiment came up, saying "you are firing into 
our men;" that the colonel thereupon gave the order to 
cease firing, and immediately after was wounded; that he 
was standing but a few feet from him at the time ; that the 
right wing fell back through the camp, whether by orders or 
not he did not know, as he was engaged at the instant in re- 
moving the colonel ; that he was informed that he was to 
take command ; that he immediately formed a new line, per- 
haps 100 feet to the rear, and reported to General Williams 
that he was in command of the regiment, and asked for or- 
ders; that he directed him to take the regiment to the cover 
of an embankment ; that a part of the Fourteenth Maine re- 
tired with them; that he remained in command until the 
lieutenant colonel, who had been sent to see to a battery 
which had been firing into the regiment, joined it ; that he 
heard no reqiiest from the Indiana regiment to come up to 
its aid, and knew of no order to advance to its support ; that 
he did not refuse to obey any of the orders he received ; that 
he thought the regiment had fired about three volleys when 


it was announced that it was firing into tlie Indiana regi- 
ment ; then the Seventh fired in the direction of the Indiana 
camp, where it was supposed the enemy was ; that his com- 
pany was color company ; that it carried only the United 
States flag ; that the State colors were not taken out on the 
field; that the United States colors were preserved and 
brought off the field. 

Color-Sergeant Sherman W. Parkhurst testified : 

That he was present at the battle of Baton Rouge and 
carried the regimental colors ; that they did not leave his 
hands during the engagement ; that he brought them off the 
field ; that he was with the color company all the time ; that 
the colors were unfurled ; that he stood erect all through the 
engagement ; that it was the United States colors he carried ; 
that the State flag was not taken into the field. 

Major Holbrook testified : 

That the Seventh had about 250 men present for duty 
on the day of the battle of Baton Rouge ; that it had about 
225 men in line ; that it had just returned from Vicksburg 
and the sick " in quarters " were all in camp ; that it had 
about 520 men on the sick-list, of whom about 200 were in 
hospital ; that he was field-ofiicer of the day and was not 
with the regiment ; that after the pickets were driven in he 
rode past the Seventh, told Colonel Roberts the point of at- 
tack, and he. Colonel Roberts, immediately moved the regi- 
ment to the left ; that he met General Williams a short 
distance from the regiment, who asked him the point of at- 
tack and he told him, as near as he could judge, where the 
different columns of the enemy would come ; that at this 
time he saw a great number of men running back towards 
the river, and remembered very distinctly General Williams 
ordering them to halt ; that they did not, and he rode in 
among them, and they stopped, saying they were sick men 
from the Twenty-first Indiana and Fourteenth Maine ; that 
he judged there were 150 in all; that General Williams told 
them to take care of themselves if they were sick ; that he 
was then sent by General Williams to look after the pickets 
on the right and left flanks and to hold those positions at all 
hazards ; that he never received an order or request to sup- 
port the Twenty-first Indiana ; that he saw no officer of that 
regiment until the action was over ; that the sick men of the 
Seventh in camp had orders to retire to the river bank, with 


the exception of 11 commissioned officers, all of whom w^ere 
in the engagement ; that he saw the regimental colors with 
the regiment at the penitentiary immediately after the final 
falling back of the lines ; that on or abont September 5th he 
received throngh his quartermaster four guidons, said to 
have been brought from the field by John Donoghue ; three 
of them were simple white flags with the figure seven in- 
scribed on them, while the other was a small United States 
flag, very much tattered and torn, that had been used m. 
the adjutant's office as a blotter ; that he heard nothing of 
the alleged misconduct of the regiment until he arrived at 
Camp Parapet, about the 24th or 25th of Aiigust ; that just 
previous to the battle, the regiment had been on board river 
transports for the better part of six weeks ; that at a review, 
a short time before the engagement, two or three companies 
were not represented, their services being needed to bmy 
the dead; that about a week previous to the battle there 
were but 95 men present for duty in the entire regiment. 

Major Holbrook states — -and the record supports the 
statement — that the finding that two-fifths of the regiment 
did not return to the line, after falling back, was " manufac- 
tured, and absolutely unsupported by any evidence." But 
if it was true that they fell back without orders this was not 
the first or last time that good troops, under fire from an un- 
seen foe, fell back a hundred feet to the shelter of favoring 
ground. The Seventh, however, did not fall back without 
orders. It was ordered to fall back, by General Williams. 

The case, then, sums itself up as follows : Of a regi- 
ment of nearly 800 men, about one-fourth of its number, 
many of them enfeebled by disease, went into their first 
battle. If the worst told of them be true, they at a time of 
great confusion, in a dense fog and under heavy fire by 
which they had lost their colonel, retired 100 feet to the 
shelter of a ravine, whence two-fifths of them, or 90 men, 
did not return to the line of battle. For this and under a 
false charge that it lost its colors the entire regiment was 
censured by general order and its colors taken from it. A 
packed board of inquiry sustained in part the charge; 


though obliged to find that the regiment did not lose either 
regimental or camp colors ; that it disobeyed no orders ; 
that the line officers behaved well ; and that its successive 
commanders behaved creditably under trying circumstances, 
with a single exception cited against the lieutenant colonel, 
as being in the testimony, though the board did not declare 
it to be sustained 

Had General Butler, when obliged to retract a part of 
his censure, frankly confessed that he was mistaken as to 
the rest, it would perhaps be possible and certainly charit- 
able to believe that his course was dne to honest misconcep- 
tion of the facts. But he reiterated most of his false charges, 
adding falsehoods to the findings of the court — such as that 
the only firing done by the regiment was upon their com- 
rades, and that its "camp color" was brought off the field 
by other troops — the first of which assertions was a pure in- 
vention of General Butler's and the last distinctly disproved 
by his own court of inquiry ! No explanation of General 
Butler's course in this matter can be made consistent wdth 
honor on his part. His motive was malicious. He disliked 
the regiment because its members, before they left Ver- 
mont, opposed their assignment to his command ; and he 
gratified his spite at the expense of truth and justice, and to 
his own lasting dishonor. The men of the Seventh have 
always felt keenly the unmerited disgrace placed upon them ; 
but no one of them would be willing to change places with 
General Butler in the opinion of any candid student of the 

It only remains to add that though General Butler's 
order restoring to the Seventh its colors did not permit it to 
inscribe the name of Baton Eouge on its flag, that permis- 
sion came to it at last, through one who was a far abler, 
braver and more famous soldier, in the following order : 


General Order,) Headquarters Military Division of the Gulf, ^ 
No. 1 i" New Orleans, La., July 10th, 1866. > 

la compliance with the requirements of General Order, No. 19, 1862, 
from the War Department, and in accordance with the reports of boards 
convened to examine into the services rendered by the troops concerned, 
and by authority of the lieutenant general commanding the armies of the 
United States, it is hereby ordered that there shall be inscribed upon the 
colors of the following regiments the names of battles in which they have 
borne a meritorious part, as hereinafter specified. 

Seventh Vermont Veteran Volunteer Infantry: Siege of Vicksburg, 
Baton Rouge Gonzales Station, Spanish Fort, Whistler. 
By command of 

Geo. Lee, A. A. Gen. 

The Seventh remained at Baton Rouge after the battle 
in constant expectation of another attack, until the 20th of 
August, when the forces there were withdrawn by General 
Butler and the place abandoned for three months or more. 
After the evacuation of Baton Rouge, the regiment returned 
to Carrollton and camped near Metarie Ridge, two miles 
back from the river, with the troops stationed there for the 
protection of New Orleans. 

About this time several important changes took place 
among the field and staff officers of the regiment. On the 
26tli of August Lieut. Colonel Fullam, in consequence of the 
censure attached to him and of the recommendation of 
Major Holbrook for promotion over his head, resigned, and 
Major Holbrook was appointed colonel.' Captain Peck of 

' Colonel Holbrook was the second son of Governor Holbrook, bom in 
Brattleboro, July 14th, 1842. When 18 years old, while connected with a 
mercantile house in Boston, he became a member of the " Tigers " of that 
city, a noted military organization, in which General Nelson A. MUes and 
other ofiicers who distinguished themselves during the war, obtained their 
first military training. On the outbreak of the war young Holbrook re- 
turned to Brattleboro and in July, 1861, enlisted in company F of the 
Fourth Vermont, of which he was drill master, and upon its organization 
was chosen its first lieutenant. He served in the Fourth for a time as 


company A was promoted to be lieutenant colonel and Cap- 
tain Porter of company C was appointed major. Lieutenant 
Morse, the faithful and efficient quartermaster of the regi- 
ment, was at this time promoted to be captain and assistant 
quartermaster of volunteers, a position which he capably 
filled ur til the close of the war. He was succeeded as regi- 
mental quartermaster by Lieutenant George E. Jones of 
company E, who went out with the regiment as commissary 
sergeant. On the 8th of September, Surgeon Kelley re- 
signed and Assistant Surgeon Blanchard was appointed 
surgeon, and tilled the office with fidelity and ability through- 
out the subsequent service of the regiment. Dr. Elihu S. 
Foster of Topsham and Dr. Henry H. Langdon of Burling- 
ton were appointed assistant surgeons and rendered efficient 

The camp at Carrollton had been named " Camp "Wil- 
liams," but soon became known as " Camp Death," by reason 
of the great mortality which prevailed among the troops 
there, especially among those which had participated in the 
Yicksburg campaign. The seeds of disease, which had been 
planted in the Vicksburg swamps, now developed with fear- 
ful rapidity under the hot summer sun and amid the malarial 
surroundings of the strip of solid ground between swamps, 
on which the camps were placed. Fogs prevailed at night 
and in the early morning, and the stench from the sur- 
rounding swamps was often intolerable. The sick list of 
the Seventh increased with alarming rapidity and the death- 
acting adjutant, till appointed major of the Seventh, in August, 1862. He 
was not yet of age and was with a single exception the youngest Ver- 
monter that wore the eagles of a colonel, but was mature for his years, 
tall, straight and vigorous, and popular with the regiment, which he com- 
manded with ability, being for a time detached from it as brigade com- 
mander and commander of the military district of West Florida. - To his 
service with the Seventh Colonel Holbrook has, since the war, added the 
valuable service of the preparation of a history of the regiment, which has 
been largely drawn upon for the facts contained in these pages. 


rate almost kept even pace with it. Had the regiment been 
sent to a healthier spot on its return from Baton Rouge, 
doubtless many lives would have been saved. But in spite 
of repeated representations of the condition of the regiment, 
made by its medical officers to General Butler, he retained 
it at Camp Williams through September. On the 30th it 
was ordered to Camp Kearney, a short distance below Car- 
roUtoD, where the conditions were more favorable. After a 
month's sojourn there, during which the health of the men 
improved somewhat, the regiment moved to New Orleans 
and was quartered for a few days at the Jackson Cotton 
Press in the lower part of the city. On the 13th, under com- 
mand of Major Porter — Colonel Holbrook and Lieut. Colonel 
Peck being sick with fever ' — it embarked on the steamer 
Nassau for Pensacola, Fla. The Nassau was a large tug- 
boat and for lack of room most of the men were confined to 
the upper deck. They encountered wet weather, were 
drenched to the skin during most of the voyage, and glad 
when it ended. When off the entrance to Mobile bay, in the 
middle of the night, the Nassau was brought to by a round 
shot across her bows from a Union gunboat and discovered 
that she was inside of the Federal blockading squadron and 
heading toward Fort Morgan, then in the hands of the 
enemy. It was suspected that the captain intended to run 
his boat under the guns of the fort. He, however, protested 
his innocence, claiming that in the darkness he had mis- 
taken his course. This was possible, as at that time there 
were no lights anywhere on the Southern coast. Under a 
warning from Major Porter that his life would pay the pen- 
alty of any treachery, the Nassau proceeded to her destina- 
tion, where the men were safely landed in the morning of 

' Colonel Holbrook soon rejoined his command. During his illness he 
was nursed at the " Hotel Dieu," by the Sisters of Mercy, to whose kind- 
ness and attention to Northerners and Southerners alike, in sickness and 
need, many soldiers testify. 


November 14tli. Here, in a purer air and amid healthful 
and invigorating siirroundings, where fruits and vegetables 
were procurable and fish and game abundant, the health of 
the regiment rapidly improved, though the death-rate con- 
tinued high, from the yielding of the men to chronic diar- 
rhoea, fevers and pneumonia contracted in Louisiana. 

At Peusacola, Major Porter reported to General Neal 
Dow, who commanded the garrison. This now consisted of 
the Fifteenth Maine, Seventh Vermont, Twanty-third Con- 
necticut and two companies of regular artillery, in all about 
2,000 men. The men of the Seventh were set to work in the 
construction of a stockade and other defences against a pos- 
sible surprise, though the need of fortifying was not ap- 
parent, the ground being fully commanded by the Union 
artillery and the guns of the fleet. On the 29tli of Decem- 
ber the regiment took part in a reconnoissance under Gen- 
eral Dow, to Oakfield, a small settlement about five miles 
outside the lines. No enemy was found and the troops re- 
turned without important incident. 

Here at Pensacola the first year of service of the regi- 
ment closed, with a sad record of mortality. The number of 
deaths during 1862, as will be seen from the tabular state- 
ment hereafter given, exceeded 300— more than twice and a 
half as many as in all the other years of the service of the 
Seventh. The number of men discharged for disability in 
1862, was also greater than in any other year except 1863 ; 
and most of the discharges in 1863 were occasioned by dis- 
abilities from disease incurred before the removal of the 
regiment to Florida. 

Numerous changes of line officers had taken place dur- 
ing the year 1862. In company A Lieutenant D. A. Smalley 
of company B was appointed captain upon the promotion of 
Captain Peck; Lieutenant W. L. Harris resigned and Ser- 
geant R. B. Stearns was commissioned as first lieutenant ; 
Second Lieutenant H. B. Fish resigned and Sergeant C. W. 


Carpenter was appointed second lieutenant. In company B 
Second Lieutenant J. V. Parker was promoted to be first 
lieutenant and Sergeant George Ross appointed second lieu- 
tenant. In company C Lieutenant E. V. N. Hitchcock was 
made captain vice Porter promoted ; Second Lieutenant J. 
Q. Dickinson was promoted first lieutenant and Sergeant H. 
Hancliet appointed second lieutenant ; First Lieutenant 
Thrall of company D resigned and Sergeant George E. Croif 
was commissioned as second lieutenant ; Captain D. Landon 
of company E resigned and Adjutant C. E. Parker succeeded 
liim as captain ; Second Lieutenant George Brown was pro- 
moted to first lieutenant, vice Lieutenant G. W. Sheldon 
appointed adjutant. In company F First Lieutenant E. N. 
Bullard was promoted captain after Captain Brooks was 
killed ; Second Lieutenant R. C, Gates was promoted to be 
first lieutenant and Sergeant H. G. Stearns was appointed 
second lieutenant. In company G First Lieutenant G. M. 
R. Howard resigned and Second Lieutenant L. P. Bingham 
was promoted first lieutenant and Sergeant F. H. Finney 
commissioned as second lieutenant ; Lieutenant Charles 
Clark was promoted captain of company I upon the death of 
Captain Ruggles ; Second Lieutenant A. E. Woodman was 
promoted to first lieutenant and Sergeant R. M. Green was 
appointed second lieutenant. 

The morning report of January 1st, 1863, showed an 
aggregate of 620 — a reduction of 38 per cent — with 216 on 
the sick list and 401 reported for duty. 

On the 20th of January, Lieutenant Henry H. French 
of company H, died of fever, brought on by exposure in the 
Yicksburg campaign.' About this time. General Banks hav- 
ing succeeded General Butler in the command of the De- 
partment of the Gulf, Major Porter was detailed on staff 

' Lieutenant French was scarcely 21 years of age. He was a promis- 
ing young officer and apparently had a bright and useful career before him. 
Ills remains were sent to his home in "Woodstock for interment. 


duty as assistant provost marslial in New Orleans. At Pen- 
sacola General Dow maintained his vigilance and during the 
month of January and the early part of February frequent 
scouting parties were sent out, and by way of practice the 
long roll was frequently sounded at night and the men 
posted behind the stockade or along the line of defences. 
The general's precautions were considered excessive by his 
troops. Early in January General Dow was ordered to New 
Orleans. Before leaving he reviewed the troops and bade 
them an affectionate farewell, with the injunction : " Never 
allow yourselves to be surprised ; " — an admonition which 
had especial force for them after the subsequent surprise 
and capture of General Dow. 

On the 17th of February, B and G companies, under 
Captain Dutton, went with other troops on a scouting expe- 
dition toward Oakfield, were attacked by a body of cavalry 
and quite a brisk skirmish ensued, which became a running 
fight until Oakfield was reached, when the enemy retired. 

About the middle of February most of the infantry were 
withdrawn to Forts Barrancas and Pickens, where a smaller 
force could better guard the harbor and navy yard, which 
last, although nearly destroyed by the enemy early in the 
war, was now the headquarters of the West Gulf Blockading 
Squadron and an important station for coaling and repairing 
vessels, and an extensive depot of naval stores. The en- 
trance to the harbor was commanded by Fort Pickens, situ- 
ated on the westerly extremity of Santa Bosa Island. On 
the 20th of February the regiment was ordered to this island 
and went into camp outside of the fort. About this time 
Assistant Surgeon Langdon resigned in impaired health and 
was succeeded by Dr. Charles H. Tenney of Hardwick. 

On the 22d of March, Pensacola was wholly abandoned ; 
and on the 28th of March companies A, D and G were de- 
tailed for duty as artillerists in Fort Pickens, taking the 
place of the regulars of the First and Second Artillery, by 



whom the fort had been garrisoned up to that time, they 
having been ordered to New Orleans. While on Santa Eosa 
Island nothing of note occurred, the only encounters being 
with the fleas and copperhead snakes. 

On the 19tli of June Colonel Holbrook was placed in 
command of the troops in the Department of West Florida 
and removed the regiment, except the companies on duty at 
Fort Pickens, to Barrancas, on the main land, where a pleas- 
ant camp was formed, called Camp Roberts, in memory of 
their late lamented colonel. Colonel Holbrook's command at 
first consisted only of the Seventh regiment, under Lieut. 
Colonel Peck, and two companies of the Second United 
States Artillery but soon afterward it was reinforced by 
some colored troops and a company of the Fourteenth New 
York Cavalry. Companies C and I of the Seventh regiment 
were detailed to garrison Barrancas redoubt, situated a 
short distance from Fort Barrancas. The remaining com- 
panies, when not on picket duty, were employed in infantry 
drill and artillery practice upon the guns of the batteries 
erected at different jDoints. With so many of the companies 
detached, and with an extended picket line to guard, the 
labors of the command were arduous. The same men were 
on picket every other day and in the interim were frequent- 
ly compelled to work on the fortifications. The enemy were 
quite active in front and in order to follow their move- 
ments scouting parties were frequently sent out. These 
labors were considerably lightened when, early in Septem- 
ber, the command was reinforced by the Eighty-sixth regi- 
ment, United States Colored Troops, Colonel Plumley. 

On the 6th of September a reconnoitring party of the 
Seventh regiment, under Captain Young and Lieutenant 
Parker, captured a squad of eight Confederate troopers at 
Pensacola. Some of the enemy had been in the habit 
of coming in small squads into Pensacola, where they 
were hospitably entertained by the Spanish consul, one 


Morino. On the evacuation of Pensacola, Morino retained 
his residence there ; and was thus in a position to gain im- 
portant information concerning the plans of the Union forces, 
which he communicated to the enemy. Colonel Holbrook 
resolved to put a stop to this. Captain Young was accord- 
ingly sent one day to attempt to capture one of these junket- 
ing parties. On reaching the outskirts of Pensacola he con- 
cealed his command in the woods until after nightfall, when 
he occupied one of the redoubts thrown up by General Dow, 
from which he was able to observe unseen the approaches to 
the town. The next morning a party of two officers and six 
men were seen to ride to Morino's, where they dismounted 
and entered the house. Young thereupon surrounded the 
house, captured the party, and took them to Barrancas, in 
spite of the protest of the consul, who subsequently de- 
manded their return, upon the ground that their capture was 
an infraction of the law of nations and an insult to Spain, 
under whose flag they were harbored at the time of their 
capture ; further stating that he had laid the matter before 
the Spanish ambassador at Washington. General Maury, 
commander of the Confederate forces at Mobile, also de- 
manded a return of the prisoners, on the same ground. 
Colonel Holbrook, however, refused to give up the prisoners 
and informed Morino and General Maury that a consular 
agent, accredited to the United States government, who re- 
mained within the lines of its enemies, could not be allowed 
to give protection to such enemies. The proceeding had a 
good effect and open communication between Morino and 
the enemy ceased. The affair, however, exasperated Gen- 
eral Maury and he notified Colonel Holbrook that he would 
yet capture twice as many Union soldiers as the number 
taken by Captain Young, and that if any negro troops should 
fall into his hands he would "flay them alive." In execution 
of his threats, he commenced a series of night attacks upon 
the Federal outposts which made extreme vigilance necessary. 


Among the incidents of tliis period was tlie premature 
discharge of a howitzer, in artillery practice, by which three 
men were injured, one of them, Robert Ripley, of company 
I, fatally. James B. Royce of the same company, was blown 
into the air and picked up for dead ; but he revived, to the 
surprise of every one, and recovered, with the loss of an arm. 

Dui'ing September, October and November yellow fever 
raged at the Navy Yard and at TVarrenton and Wolsey, two 
or three miles away; but owing to the precautions taken by 
the surgeons and Colonel Holbrook, only a dozen cases 
occurred in the latter's command. Two of these proved fatal. 
Lieutenant Rollin M. Green of company H, died November 
17th, after a three days' illness, in the regimental hospital at 
Barrancas, where he received all possible care from Surgeon 
Blanchard and his wife, who fearlessly attended him. He 
was buried at midnight, by a few of his brother officers, in 
the Marine Cemetery.' Corporal L. O. Wilkins of company 
B, died November 5th, in a vacant house outside the lines, 
in which Surgeon Blanchard had established a pest hospital. 

During the prevalence of the epidemic Colonel Hol- 
brook and his men were practically shut off from all commu- 
nication with the outside world. No vessels were allowed to 
enter the port, and no regular mails or supplies were received. 
The soldiers could not fraternize with their naval friends, 
and the time dragged heavily for the sequestered troops. 

On the 7th of November Colonel Holbrook was relieved 
of the command of the troops in West Florida by Brig. 
General Asboth," and was assigned to the command of 

' Lieutenant Green was a courageous and eflBcient oflBcer. No man 
held the honor of the regiment in higher esteem or was more ready to vin- 
dicate it when assailed. He rose from the ranks and won his promotions 
by meritorious conduct. 

^ General Alexander Asboth was a Hungarian, who came to America 
with Kossuth. He was a brave man, reckless of the expenditure of 
human life and especially fond of dogs and horses, of which he kept half 
a dozen or more of each, at Barrancas. 


the First brigade, consisting of two colored regiments and 
the main body of the Seventh. It was then supposed that a 
considerable body of troops would soon rendezvous at Bar- 
rancas and Pensacola, to co-operate with Admiral Farragut 
in the meditated attack upon Mobile, and the members of 
the regiment began to hope for more active service. Their 
anticipations, however, were not realized. 

During the autumn large numbers of refugees had come 
into the Union lines to escape the conscription which was 
forcing every man who couid shoulder a musket into the 
Confederate service. General Asbotli directed Adjutant 
Sheldon of the Seventh, who had served in the United 
States artillery, to recru'.t and drill a light battery from 
their number, and also attempted to organize a cavalry 
regiment ; but the deserters and refugees were found to be 
too untrustworthy, and the effort was abandoned. 

During the year 1863 the regiment lost 133 men, 27 of 
them by death, and on the 1st of January, 1864, had an ag- 
gregate of 484 officers and men, of whom 455 were for duty 
and but 14 on the sick list. 

During the year Captains Cronan, company B ; Kilburn, 
company D ; Parker, company E, and Clark of company I, 
resigned, and were succeeded respectively by Lieutenants J. 
V. Parker, Geo. E. Croff, John L. Moseley and A. E. Wood- 
man. Second Lieutenants Geo. Ross, Chas. H. Sheldon and 
Allen Spaulding were made first lieutenants, and Quartermas- 
ter Sergeant Samuel Buel was appointed second lieutenant 
vice Croff promoted. First Lieutenant R. C. Gates, company 
F, resigned and was succeeded by Second Lieutenant Henry 
Stowell. Second Lieutenant Henry Hanchet, company C, re- 
signed and was succeeded by Sergeant I. N. Collins, who 
also resigned during the year. Second Lieutenant Frank N. 
Finney was promoted to be first lieutenant, company D ; Ser- 
geant M. L. Gilbert was commissioned as second lieutenant, 
company G ; Second Lieutenant Geo. L. Kelley, company 


H, resigned, and Sergeant E. R. Paine was appointed second 
lieutenant of company H. 

Occasional brushes with the Confederate cavalry diversi- 
fied the monotony of camp life. On the 25th of January, a 
skirmish took place at Jackson's Bridge, on the road to Pen- 
sacola, between a mounted party consisting of Colonel Hol- 
brook, Captain Young and Lieutenant Brown, of the Seventh, 
and twenty of the Fourteenth New York Cavalry, and a party 
of Confederate cavalry. Holbrook's party charged upon the 
latter, pursued them for a mile and captured a lieutenant 
and nine men. One of the New York cavalry-men was 
slightly wounded and two of the enemy were wounded. 

On the 27th of January, Lieutenant George Ross of 
company B, and Lieutenant Galloway of the First Florida 
(loyal) Cavalry, with a detail of seventeen men from company 
B, were sent by General Asboth to Point Washington, at the 
head of Choctawhatchie Bay, to protect and forward refugees 
wishing to enlist in the Union army. From Point Washing- 
ton they advanced about twenty-five miles inland, where they 
surprised a force which had been stationed there to prevent 
the escape of refugees and deserters to the Union lines, cap- 
turing three officers and forty privates. While trying to 
bring in the prisoners and plunder they were overtaken by a 
superior force of the enemy's cavalry, and Boss and Gallo- 
way were captured with eleven of the men of the Seventh.' 
The remainder made their escape and reached the Union 
lines. Lieutenant Boss remained a prisoner of war for thir- 
teen months in the enemy's hands. 

On the 13th of February, Lieutenant Frank N. Finney, 

1 Among the men so captured were Sergeant James McGary, E. C. 
Barnard, Ambro Bolio, John Burns, Harrison Combs, Edward Phalon, H. 
"W. Stocker, Stephen P. Trumbull and W. Wilkins, all of company B. Of 
these Bolio, Burns and Stocker died in the Andersonville prison pen, in 
October and November following, and Combs and Trumbull are believed 
to have died in the enemy's hands, at dates not recorded. 


of company D, returned from Vermont with 110 recruits, 
who were heartily welcomed by the regiment. 

During the same month 335 enlisted men, being all but 
59 of the surviving original members of the regiment, re- 
enlisted for three years, and from that time the regiment 
was kno"^Ti as the Seventh Regiment Vermont Veteran Vol- 
unteers. The re-enlisted men were entitled to return to 
Vermont early in April for a furlough of thirty days. But, 
owing to a series of vexatious delays, they were detained in 
Florida for several months. Shortly before this, the ques- 
tion of the date of expiration of the original term of enlist- 
ment, which had been much discussed by the Vermont troops 
in the Department of the Gulf, was decided by the authori- 
ties at Washington. In the case of the other Vermont regi- 
ments the only question raised was whether the soldier's 
term began when he enlisted, or when he was mustered into 
the United States service — in most cases a matter of a few 
days or weeks. But in the case of the Seventh and Eighth 
regiments, and of the First and Second Batteries recruited 
with them, the question was one of half a year's time. The 
acts of the Vermont Legislature, under which they were re- 
cruited, authorized the raising of these regiments and bat- 
teries "to serve for three years from the 1st of June, 1861." 
The contract in the enlistment papers corresponded with the 
acts, and only bound the soldier to serve for three years 
from that date. In the case of the Third, Fourth, Fifth and 
Sixth regiments, the limitation in similar contracts was dis- 
regarded by the War Department and the men were held for 
three years from the date of their muster in. To the Ver- 
mont troops in General Butler's division, for some reason, a 
different rule was applied. In their case the claim of the 
men that their term expired June 1st, 1864, was held by the 
War Department to be good ; and those who did not re- 
enlist were mustered out as soon after that date as arrange- 
ments for their transportation home could be made. 


Ou the 18th of May, company G was detailed to relieve 
Captain Larned's company of the Second United States Ar- 
tillery at Fort Barrancas, and company K relieved Major 
Allen's regulars at Fort Pickens, leaving but four companies 
of the Seventh at Camp Roberts. About this time it was 
rumored that a combined attack was to be made upon the 
Navy Yard by a land force under Maury and by the formida- 
ble ram Tennessee, then lying in Mobile Bay. In anticipa- 
tion of such an attack, a water battery, mounted with ll-inch 
and 15-inch guns, was constructed by companies D, F and K, 
on the west end of Santa Rosa Island, commanding the chan- 
nel ; while on the Barrancas side of the channel additional 
defences were made to meet any attack from that direction. 
Every few nights there was picket firing, and the men were 
frequently under arms all night. In the meantime Farragut 
was making preparations for the attack upon Forts Morgan 
and Gaines, at the entrance to Mobile Bay. The enemy on 
their part were strengthening their position. As they re- 
ceived most of their reinforcements and supplies by the rail- 
road from Montgomery, General Asbotli organized an ex- 
pedition to cut this line of communication. The force con- 
sisted of four companies of the Seventh regiment (A, B, E 
and H), Schmidt's New York Cavalry, a battalion of the 
First Florida Cavalry, the Eighty-sixth regiment United 
States Colored Troops, and two mountain howitzers under 
command of Adjutant Sheldon of the Seventh, the guns 
being drawn by mules, for want of horses. 


On the afternoon of July 21st the expedition left Bar- 
rancas with Schmidt's cavalry in advance, followed by the 
four comjDanies of the Seventh and Sheldon's guns, the 
other troops bringing up the rear. Information was re- 
ceived that a considerable force of the enemy was intrenched 


at Gonzales Station, fifteen miles from Pensacola. General 
Asbotli planned to reach that point early in the morning in 
order to surprise the enemy. The outposts were reached a 
little before daylight, and a lively skirmish ensued. A part 
of the Seventh under Colonel Holbrook was deployed to the 
right of the line and pushed forward to a clearing in front of 
a square redoubt built of logs and earth. The howitzers 
were brought up and after half a dozen rounds of spherical 
case had been thrown into the redoubt, Captains Smalley 
and Moseley gallantly led an assault across the clearing, and 
were over the works and among the enemy before they could 
do more than discharge a couple of volleys. Several of the 
Confederates were captured. The rest beat a headlong re- 
treat to the woods in their rear, pursued some distance by 
the Union cavalry, and leaving behind them, in their haste, a 
breakfast of corn-dodgers and bacon for their foes. None 
of the Yermonters were hurt, though they were under fire 
for more than an hour. They received much, praise from 
General Asboth for their steadiness and intrepidity. After 
a rest of several hours the march was resumed. Some ten 
miles had been made, when General Asboth was informed 
by a deserter from the enemy that General Maury, with a 
force of 4,000 men, was marching to cut off his retreat, and 
that he was then only five or six miles distant. This intel- 
ligence was received about dark. After a hasty consultation 
General Asboth decided to turn back. The troops faced 
about and marched all night toward Barrancas. A hard 
rain storm set in, which somewhat impeded their progress, 
but saved them from capture. Maury was nearer than was 
reported ; but owing to the heavy rain, which obliterated all 
traces of the march, it was not until the following forenoon 
that he became aware of the retreat. It was then too late to 
overtake Asboth's force. The troops reached camp, with 
their prisoners, on the morning of the 24th, pretty well jaded, 
having marched over fifty miles in the three days. 


On the 5tli of August the roar of the battle of Mobile 
Bay, thirty miles away, was distinctly heard at Camp Rob- 
erts. After the surrender of Fort Gaines, on the 7th of 
August, General Granger transferred his force to Mobile 
Point and invested Fort Morgan ; and the Seventh was ex- 
pecting orders to join him, when the steamer Hudson ar- 
rived to convey the men north on their long-looked-for fur- 


On the 10th of August the men whose original term had 

expired, about 400 in number, departed from Barrancas and 

Fort Pickens, and turned their faces homeward. Just before 

their departure, the following order was issued by General 

Asboth : 

Headquarters District of West Florida, ) 
Barrancas, Fla.., Aug. 9th, 1864. >" 

Special Order, No. 184. 

The Seventh Vermont Veteran Volunteers being about to leave this 
district, the general commanding considers it his pleasant duty to express 
his full appreciation of the good order and discipline always maintained, 
and the efficient service constantly rendered by them, not only as infantry 
at their several posts and in the field, but also most conspicuously as artil- 
lerists at the important forts of Pickens and Barrancas. The departure of 
this veteran regiment becomes thus a severe loss to this command, and the 
best wishes and warmest thanks of the general commanding follow their 
gallant commander, Colonel W. C. Holbrook, and all the brave officers and 
men to their homes and wherever duty calls them. May we meet again in 
better days for our beloved and common country, the great Republic of the 
World. (Signed) Asboth, 

Brig. -Gen. Commanding. 

The Hudson was ten days in reaching Fortress Monroe, 
where she was obliged to stop for coal, and where she was 
boarded by an ofl&cer of the Health Department, who, on 
learning that the regiment had come from the port of Pensa- 
cola, ordered the steamer to the quarantine station, some 
miles distant, to remain for thirty days. In vain did the 
officers protest that there was no infectious sickness among 
the men ; that the steamer had simply touched there to get 
a few tons of coal ; and that to detain a regiment of men 


aboard ship so long would surely bring on sickness in some 
form. The doctor was deaf to all reason, and insisted that 
the steamer should proceed at once to quarantine, unless a 
contrary order should be obtained from the post command- 
er. Colonel Holbrook immediately made application to the 
commander of the post, for leave to go to sea forthwith. He 
received a reply that his application would be forwarded to 
Washington for the action of the authorities there, but that 
iu the meantime the directions of the Health Officer must be 
complied with. The officers, however, determined to sail 
for Kew York that night, and as soon as enough coal had 
been taken aboard, the captain of the Hudson was instructed 
to drop down to quarantine and there come to anchor, bank- 
ing^is fires. Colonel Holbrook, in order that he might not 
be guilty of direct disobedience of orders which had been 
given to him personally, took advantage of an indisposition 
from which he had been suffering for some days, to go upon 
the sick list, and Lieut. Colonel Peck assumed command. 
As soon as it became dark. Colonel Peck directed the cap- 
tain to proceed on his voyage, and the Hudson was soon out 
of Hampton Eoads and on her course to New York, where 
she safely arrived three or four days later. An amusing let- 
ter, written by Colonel Plumley, who accompanied the regi- 
ment from Pensacola, appeared a few days later in one of 
the New York papers, in which the departure of the steamer 
from quarantine was accounted for by the explanation that 
she, through no fault of any one, dragged her anchor all the 
way from Fortress Monroe to New York ! Three weeks after 
his reqliest was made. Colonel Holbrook received, at Brattle- 
l)oro, formal permission for the Hudson to complete her 

The regiment arrived August 26th, at Brattleboro, 
where it was most handsomely received by Governor Smith 
and the citizens of the town, who had provided a fine colla- 
tion. The next day the veterans received their thirty days' 


furlough, and those who had not re-enlisted were mustered 
out of the service. The number so mustered out comprised 
two officers, Captain D. P. Barber, company K, and Lieu- 
tenant S. Buel, company D, and 57 men. The return to 
kindred and friends was very delightful, after the trying ex- 
perience of two years and a half of exile. But the thought 
of missing comrades mingled sadness with the joy. Three 
hundred and fifty members of the regiment lay buried on the 
banks of the Mississippi and in Florida ; and more than two 
hundred victims of the malaria of Southern swamps had 
been discharged in shattered health. The men now return- 
ing were thus less than half of those who went out together 
in the spring of 1862. 

On the 13th of September, Lieutenant John Q. Dickin- 
son was appointed regimental quartermaster, in place of 
El. Q. M. Jones, who had been promoted to be captain and 
commissary of subsistence. He had for some time served 
the regiment in that capacity, and continued to discharge 
the duties of the office with fidelity and ability,' 

^Tiile the regiment was on furlough the State officials 
planned to present it a new stand of colors ; and Colonel 
Holbrook was invited by the governor to name a da}- for the 
presentation. The colonel respectfully declined the honor. 
They were attached, he said, to the old colors, and did not 
care to exchange them for new ones ; and the old colors 
were borne by the regiment till it was finally disbanded. 

' Lieutenant Dickinson was subsequently made captain of company F, 
and was honorably disctiarged for disability October 10th, 1865. Upon 
leaving the service he engaged in the lumber business in Florida. He was 
warned to leave the State, by the Ku Klux organization ; but remained. 
One evening he was called from his house by a messenger who said he was 
wanted at his office. Next morning his dead body was found in the street 
riddled with bullets. He was a gentleman of education and ability, of 
amiable character, and many estimable qualities. He fell a victim to secj- 
tional hatred and political conspiracy. 



On the 27t]i of September the regiment reassembled at 
Brattleboro, and on the 30th again left Yermont for the 
Department of the Gulf. Arriving in New York October 1st, 
it embarked, on the 4th, on the steamer Cassandra, for New 
Orleans, where it arrived on the 13th, and was quartered in 
a cotton press on Annunciation Square. Here intelligence 
was received of the death of Captain Young, who had been 
left at Barrancas in charge of the recruits. He had accom- 
panied General Asboth, as a member of his staff, on an ex- 
pedition to break up and capture a considerable Confederate 
force established at Marianna, Fla. The Confederates bar- 
ricaded the streets, and made a desperate defence. The 
first attack, made by the First Florida Cavahy and some 
colored troops, was repulsed. Captain Young assisted in 
rallying the troops and led a second assault in which he fell 
dead with a charge of buckshot through his body, close to 
the barricade." General Asboth was wounded and lost a 
number of his men ; but the place was carried ; a church in 
which the Confederates took refuge was burned, and a num- 
ber of prisoners were captured. 

THiile stationed at Annunciation Square, the regiment 
was principally employed in guard duty. The men were 
drilled in street manoeuvres and fixing and a number of the 
officers were detailed for duty on military commissions and 
courts martial. At this time the Department of the Gulf 
formed a part of the Military Division of West Mississip- 
pi, commanded by Major General E. Pw. S. Canby, under 

' Captain Young was a native of Royalton. At the outbreak of the 
war and at the age of 19, he enlisted, from Hartford, as a member of com- 
pany B of the First regiment and served with credit through its term of 
service. He then recruited a company for the Seventh at Woodstock, and 
■was made its first captain. He was a brave, competent and faithful oflBcer, 
and was sincerely mourned by his comrades of the Seventh. His body 
was buried at Marianna. 


whom the Seventh participated iu the campaign which re- 
sulted in the capture of the city of Mobile and led to the 
surrender of General Richard Taylor's army, the third in 
size in the Confederacy. 

On the 22d of December seven men ot the Seventh ' were 
lost with the steamship North America, which foundered at 
sea in a gale, off Cape Hatteras, on her way from New 
Orleans to New York with over two hundred sick and dis- 
abled soldiers on board, most of whom went down with the 

On the 1st of January, 1865, the regiment numbered 
631 officers and men, with 487 for duty and 105 sick. No 
changes of field officers had taken place during the year. 
Lieutenant R. B. Stearns was acting adjutant, during most 
of the year, in the absence of Adjutant Sheldon, who had 
leave of absence to recruit a Union battery of native Flor- 
idians. In the line, Captain E. V. N. Hitchcock had re- 
signed and been succeeded by Lieutenant H. Stowell as 
captain of company C. Lieutenant Dickinson of that com- 
pany had been promoted quartermaster and Sergeant 
Charles B. McCormic was commissioned as first lieutenant. 
Commissary Sergeant Geo. E. Cramer had been appointed 
first lieutenant of company F, vice Stowell, promoted ; Ser- 
geant Fernando Randall had been appointed first lieutenant 
of company H, vice Lieutenant E. R. Paine, resigned ; Lieu- 
tenant R. B. Stearns had been promoted captain of company 
K, vice Barber, mustered out ; and Quartermaster Sergeant 
John A. Prindle had been appointed first lieutenant of that 
company vice Lieutenant Spaulding, resigned. 

The winter passed uneventfully in New Orleans. Gen- 
eral Canby was in command of the Department of the Gulf. 
General Dick Taylor had succeeded the unlucky Hood in 

'James Brown, company A; J. L. Ridgell, company F ; Jason Ellis, 
H. W. Holden and L. B. Paine, company G ; A. J. Tilton, company H ; 
and C. E. Dushon, company K. 


command of tlie Confederate Department of the South, east 
of the Mississippi ; Sherman had marched through Georgia 
to the sea ; and after the fall of Savannah, Charleston and 
"Wilmington, Mobile was the only important seaboard city 
left to the Confederates. Farragut's capture of the forts at 
the mouth of Mobile Bay had closed the port, but General 
Dabney H. Maury with a garrison of 15,000 men still held 
Mobile, thirty miles above the forts. This, according to 
General Joseph E. Johnston, was the best fortified city in 
the Confederacy. It was surrounded by three lines of earth- 
works, defended by fifty-eight forts, having deep ditches 
through which the tide water flowed. The strongest of these 
fortifications, Spanish Fort, so-called because it was on the 
site of an old Spanish fortification, was on the east side of 
the bay, with outworks extending for nearly two miles along 
the bluff, which rose 180 feet above the water. It was gar- 
risoned by General R. L. Gibson with 2,500 men. General 
Canby was gathering, for the capture of Mobile, an army of 
about 45,000 men, comprising the Thirteenth Corps, under 
General Gordon Granger, and the Sixteenth Corps under 
General A. J. Smith. In this final campaign in the Gulf 
Department the Seventh Vermont had an honorable part. 


On the 19th of February the regiment received orders 
to embark on the steamer Clinton and report to General 
Granger at Mobile Point. Arriving there on the 21st, it was 
assigned to the Second brigade, Colonel Day, of General 
Benton's division of the Thirteenth Corps. The other regi- 
ments of the brigade were the Ninety-first Illinois, Twenty- 
ninth Iowa and Fiftieth Indiana. Mobile Point, at the en- 
trance to Mobile Bay, is a long, low peninsula of white sand. 
Here the regiment was stationed for three weeks. In view 
of active operations, the baggage of the troops was reduced 


to the smallest possible compass, by General Canby's orders. 
Clothing was limited to one suit, a change of under-garments 
and an extra pair of shoes ; coats were not allowed when 
blouses could be supplied ; camp equipage was reduced to 
the lowest possible limit, and only shelter tents were issued ; 
sutlers were excluded ; rations were confined to army bread 
and salt meat, and the troops were to keep on hand three 
days' cooked rations. Camping out under shelter tents 
on barren sand, during the storms of February and March, 
was not jjleasant, and none were sorry when the orders came 
to march. General Canby's first movement was against 
Spanish Fort, and was made by Benton's division. Marching 
with the division, the Seventh Vermont broke camp early in 
the morning of March 17th, marched nine miles along the 
peninsula that day, and camped at night in an open pine 
forest. On the 18th the division marched thirteen miles 
along a natural shell bank and camped at 3 P. M. on Bayou 
Portage. On the 19th a rain storm disclosed the unreliable 
and swampy character of the ground, the surface, when wet, 
proving to be a mere crust, covering a bottomless quick- 
sand. The head of the column, passing round Bonsecours 
Bay, moved only a few miles that day and the rear guard got 
only a mile and a half. Large details were set at work cor- 
duroying the roads. On the 20th, starting at 9 a. m., they 
moved slowly, the rain falling in torrents and the corduroy 
all afloat, and made but four miles before night. On the 
morning of the 21st the rain was still pouring. Benton's 
division moved on, but the train could not even get out of 
park. Every team was mired. Words can give but a faint 
idea of the toil and difficulties of this march. Officers and 
men were kept constantly at work with axe or spade. Teams 
and artillery had to be dragged out of the mire by ropes 
and were with difficulty kept from sinking at every halt. 
The Confederate cavalry hung about and occasionally an- 
noyed the advance guards. Only about two miles were made 

THE se\'i:nth kegiment. 65 

on the 21st. On the 22d the division camped near Fish 
Kiver, and on the 23d moved over a fair road six miles, to 
the north fork of the river, which was crossed on a ponton 
bridge, and went into camp on the right of the Sixteenth 
Corps, which had moved across the bay on transports. That 
night the bands played : "Oh, aren't you glad you're out of 
the "Wilderness ? " with especial zest. 

On the 25tli of March, General Cauby marched twelve 
miles, with both corps and some of the heavy artillery. The 
next day he moved cautiously to within three miles of Span- 
ish Fort, where the troops bivouacked for the night. On 
the morning of the 27tli the lines were formed for the as- 
sault, the Sixteenth Corps being on the right and Benton's 
division of the Thirteenth Corps in the centre. After ad- 
vancing about a mile in line of battle, sharp fighting com- 
menced between the Union and Confederate skirmishers and 
the latter were pushed back to within a short distance of 
their works. The Second Brigade, including the Seventh 
Yermont, halted within 600 yards of the earthworks and 
midway between Spanish Fort and the work known as 
Bed Fort. The men lay down under a heavy fire from the 
guns of Bed Fort, which raked the approach through a 
ravine, and of musketry, and lay all day expecting an order 
to assault the works. But the Union generals, on inspection 
of the works in front, found little encouragement for an at- 
tempt to carry them by storm. They were in fact well nigh 
impregnable by direct assault. The attacking lines would 
have had first to pass through a slashing of felled timber ; 
then to carry a line of rifle-pits ; then to assault breastworks 
strengthened by redoubts heavily armed ; and then to at- 
tack and carry a large bastioned fort, crowning the top of 
the bluff, mounted with 7-inch Columbiads and 30-pound 
Parrot guns. General Canby accordingly changed his plan, 
and adopted slower and surer methods. His front lines 
sought such cover as they could, without entrenching — the 


enemy's fire being too heavy and continuous to permit of 
that — and kept their places. During the day company G of 
the Seventh, under Captain Dutton, was on duty on the skir- 
mish line. It was relieved at nightfall by company D, Cap- 
tain Croff. The latter advanced his line during the night to 
within a few paces of the opposing rifle-pits, and kept it 
there till after daylight next morning, when the enemy opened 
on him with canister from two field-pieces and he withdrew 
his skirmishers a short distance to some ground where they 
found shelter behind logs and stumps and harrassed the 
Confederate gunners by sharp-shooting. As soon as it be- 
came dark the troops were set at work throwing up intrench- 
ments, and by morning they had constructed a line of earth- 
works long enough to cover the front of two regiments. Soon 
after daylight the Seventh was relieved by the Ninety-first 
Illinois, and withdrawn two or three hundred yards to the rear. 
Here they soon found themselves under a vigorous artillery 
fire, and a solid shot killed an orderly, who had just deliv- 
ered to Colonel Holbrook an order from brigade headquar- 
ters. The regiment moved to the left, out of range, but was 
again shelled out, and was obliged to move farther to the 

In the morning of the 28th Captain Croff was relieved 
on the skirmish line, b}^ companies H and I under Captain 
E. Woodman. Both companies were under fire all day, 
and were relieved at night by companies F and C, Cap- 
tains Ballard and Stowell. They advanced, in a general ad- 
vance of the skirmish lines during the night, and with a few 
spades and with bayonets and cups threw up dirt enough to 
protect themselves. When daylight came they found that 
the skirmish line of the Sixteenth Corps, which should have 
connected with them on the left, was some fifty yards farther 
back, and they were for a time as much exposed by the fire 
from the rear as from the front. The skirmishers expended 
nearly eighty rounds of ammunition apiece this day. Cap- 


tain Croff was detailed as field-officer of the day, in place of 
another officer who had been wounded, and company B, 
Captain Parker relieved the companies in front in the course 
of the night. 

For several days and nights the men were thus in the 
trenches, sleeping in the mud and almost constantly exposed 
to artillery and musketry fire. Few casualties, however, 
occurred, with the exception of an unfortunate affair on the 
31st, which resulted in the capture by the enemy of Captain 
Stearns and twenty men of company K, who in the evening 
of the 30th had relieved company K ou the skirmish line. 
The affair is thus described by JGeneral C. C. Andrews, in 
his History of the Campaign against Mobile : 

There was but little firing during the. night, and Cap- 
tain Stearns advanced his line about twenty-five yards 
and dug new pits — though the detail had but one spade — 
which brought him in advance of the brigade line of skir- 
mishers. He was within 150 yards of the works of the gar- 
rison, and the musketry fire of his men was exceedingly 
troublesome to their gunners. Soon after noon a shot from 
that vicinity had instantly killed Colonel Wm. E. Burnett of 
Texas, Confederate chief of artillery and a valuable officer. 
He had for a moment taken a rifle in his hand, and was in 
the act of aiming it from behind the breastworks through a 
wooden embrasure. Captain Barnes, in Battery McDermett, 
had been giving considerable attention to these skirmishers, 
and they were also subject to a fire from Red Fort. Begin- 
ning early in the morning, Barnes shelled the line- with a 
6-pound and a 24-pound howitzer for three or four hours, 
and made some of the men on Stearns's left fall back into the 
ravine. There was now a lull, and the skirmishers popped 
out their heads and did some firing themselves, for they were 
fair marksmen, and had plenty of pluck. Barnes then 
brought out two 6-pounders from McDermett, placed them 
on the hilltop, and again fiercely shelled Captain Stearns's 
position. * * * Arrangements were made in the garri- 
son for a sortie. Captain Clement S. Watson, of General 
Gibson's staff, volunteered to lead it. The rest of the party 
was to consist of Lieutenant A. C. Newton, company E, 
Fourth Louisiana Battalion, and thirty men, fifteen of whom 
were picked. At two o'clock in the afternoon preparatory to 


tlie sortie the garrison caused tlie slashing and brusli on the 
right of Captain Stearns to be fired, and the smoke blew 
over and in front of him. * * * It was now snnset. 
The cannonading ceased. The same instant Captain Watson 
and party were over the garrison works, and concealed by 
the smoke, vigorously rushed upon their ex])ected prisoners. 
* * * Captain Stearns and twenty of his men were cap- 
tured. Without parley and without delay their captors re- 
ceived their arms and hurried them away into the garrison, 
none of the sortie party stopping to occupy the pits. The 
prisoners were rapidly taken a roundabout way to a position 
near the water, wliich appeared to be sheltered from the fire 
of the besiegers by artificial ravines. But no curiosity now 
inspired them to notice the interior of the garrison. The 
prospect before them was dreary. 

Captain Stearns was soon notified that he was to have 
an interview with the general commanding the garrison, and 
was accordingly conducted down into a ravine, some sixty or 
seventy feet deep, and about thirty yards wide at the open- 
ing. The ravine was triangular with its base facing north. 
In the apex were two wall tents, into one of which he was 
taken and introduced to General Gibson. There were pres- 
ent Captain Watson and the lieutenant who accompanied 
him. The general invited Captain Stearns to partake of his 
supper, a frugal repast consisting of cold fowl and cold water, 
with tin table furniture. This invitation was accepted. It 
was a compliment w^hich w^ould have been paid only to a 
gallant ofiicer. The garrison had the best opportunity to 
judge of the courage and fortitude of their prisoners, and the 
general was generous in acknowledging the tenacity and 
courage with which, under a most severe fire, they held to 
their position ; and the intelligence and address of both the 
captors and prisoners seems to have excited mutual respect. 

Captain Stearns's report of the transaction corresponds 

closely with the above. He says : 

Soon after daylight on the 31st the enemy opened on 
me with shell from a gun on one of the inland faces of the 
fort on our extreme left, and I soon found that they had got 
our range admirably. I had, during the night, constructed 
rude bomb-proofs, and during the shelling ordered my men 
into them. The shelling soon stopped, and all was quiet on 
the line until about 12 M., when the same gun again opened 
fire. The shelling was now so terrific that I determined to 
faU back a short distance as soou as it became dark, and 


dispatched Corporal Crothers to regimental headquarters for 
instructions. I sent word by him that 1 expected to be as- 
saulted before dark, and requested that the gun which was 
annoying me be silenced, or that the enemy's lines in my 
front be shelled, and I would fall back under the fire. At 
about four o'clock P. M. the enemy fired the slash of trees, 
etc., covering the ground on the right of me, and I gave the 
order to my men to fall back singly, as I foresaw that we 
would be smoked or burnt out, for there were several trees 
felled close to my position. As soon as the first man left I 
countermanded the order, for hundreds of bullets were sent 
after him. I think, however, that he was uninjured. Dur- 
ing the shelling many of my men, and others on the left, had 
left their rifle pits and fallen back. In doing this one of my 
men (Private Storrs) was wounded. Just before sunset the 
fire had extended around my rear and on my left, making so 
dense a smoke that our lines could not be seen. At this 
time the shelling was resumed, and in less than ten minutes 
fifteen shells were exploded inside and directly over the pit 
in which myself and ten men were stationed. I had my men 
cover themselves as best they could, and ordered bayonets 
to be fixed in anticipation of a charge being made. 

At sunset the shelling suddenly ceased, and the charge 
was made in which myself and twenty of my men were cap- 
tured. The assaulting party was composed of Captain Wil- 
cox [should be Watson], of General Gibson's stafl', a lieu- 
tenant and thirty men, fifteen of whom were picked from the 
entire garrison. The remainder were volunteers. The 
charge was so sudden and vigorous that we could offer but 
little resistance. I gave the command to fire, which was 
obeyed by the majority of my men, but the next instant 
every man had at least one musket at his head, with a sum- 
mons to surrender. I found two muskets and a revolver 
pointed at me, with a request to come out of the pit. I 
accepted the alternative thus offered, and in a short time 
found myself before General Gibson, C. S. A., who paid a 
very high tribute to the men of my command. He said he 
had never seen troops stand shelling as we had that da}-. 
General Gibson informed me that no other part of the line 
would be molested ; that mine was particularly obnoxious to 
them, as that forenoon we had killed his chief of artillery, 
Colonel Burnett, and wounded several others. 

Colonel Holbrook says: "After the capture of Spanish 

Fort I went to the pit occupied by Captain Stearns, with sev- 


eral officers of our owu and other regiments, and it was the 
opinion of all that none but a hero could have held out as he 
did." In his official report, Colonel Holbrook says : " I 
regard the affair as one of the most brilliant of the siege, and 
Captain Stearns and his men deserve the commendation of 
every true and brave soldier." 

On the 6th of April the regiment was detailed, with the 
Twenty-ninth Iowa, to assist Bertram's brigade, which held 
the extreme left of the Union line, in running saps and ad- 
vancing the approaches to Old Spanish Fort, (otherwise called 
Battery No. 1), and to Fort McDermett (Battery No. 2), 
which were the most heavily armed of all the enemy's works, 
and the most important, because they commanded the chan- 
nel. The Union gunboats assisted the besiegers in the oper- 
ations against these forts. Heavy ordnance was concen- 
trated on both sides, and the difference between the explo- 
sion of a 10-inch shell and one discharged from an or- 
dinary field piece was soon discovered ; nor were the men 
long in ascertaining that a projectile from a Brooks rifle was 
much more destructive to fortifications than those fired from 
light Napoleons. The Seventh was divided into details, which 
reported to the chief engineer. Captain John C. Palfrey, U. S. 
A., an accomplished and courageous officer. The men worked, 
so to speak, with the spade in one hand and the musket in 
the other. Each day brought them nearer the enemy's works 
and increased their peril. On the day before the evacuation, 
the saps were within less than one hundred yards of the op- 
posing ramparts. It was dangerous work. If a man exposed 
head or hand it became a target for the Confederate sharp- 
shooters, and each battery that was erected had in turn to 
sustain heavy artillery fire. The wailing of shells was con- 
stant, day and night, and bombs from coliorn mortars were 
continually dropping into the saps and trenches. At night 
the burning fuses disclosed the courses of the shells, and the 
men could calculate with tolerable certainty where they would 


fall ; but during the day it required a keen eye to see tlieir 
approach and agile muscles to avoid them. The fatigue duty 
on the approaches was especially severe. In some places the 
ground was rocky, and in others filled with stumps and roots 
and covered with large logs. The duty became so wearing 
on the men that the officers sometimes took rifles and 
went on duty themselves as sharpshooters, while the men 
rested and slept in bomb-proofs sunk in the earth behind the 
outer line and covered with layers of logs, sometimes three 
thick, over which were from one to four feet of earth. 

About five o'clock p. m. of the ninth day of the siege, 
April 4th, a general bombardment of the enemy's works 
along the entire line was ordered, and the troops formed be- 
hind the earthworks, in readiness to assault. Tlie Seventh 
took position nearly in front of Old Spanish Fort and Fort 
McDermett, where the artillery fire, for two hours, was very 
heavy. At this time the advance parallels of the besiegers 
were within a hundred yards of the Confederate salients. The 
garrison had also extended counter trenches and rifle-pits so 
that the sharpshooters on both sides were within talking dis- 
tance. The Union troops had in position thirty-eight siege 
guns, including six 20-pound rifles, and sixteen mortars, and 
thirty-seven field guns, all of which opened fire at five P. M., 
and continued till seven P. M. The orders were for each gun to 
fire every three minutes. The guns of Old Spanish Fort re- 
sponded. Clouds of dust rose from the parapets. Mean- 
while the sharpshooters in the pits kept up their accustomed 
firing ; but no assault was ordered. So the siege went on. By 
the 30th, General Canby had in operation on the extreme 
right four 30-pounders and two 200-pound rifles ; and 
against Spanish Fort, fifty-three siege guns, including nine 
200-pound rifles and sixteen mortars, and thirty-seven field 
guns, a total of ninety-six guns. Four siege rifles and five 
howitzers on the left centre assailed the garrison's centre and 
left, and four howitzers close in on the extreme right 


enfiladed their centre. A bombardment, which proved to be 
the final one, opened from all the enemy's guns at 5:30 p. m., 
and continued two hours. In the course of the evening a 
portion of Carr's division of the Sixteenth Corps effected a 
lodgment inside the enemy's works, at a point which would 
enable them to cut off the retreat of the garrison, and at mid- 
night the enemy began to abandon their works. At one 
o'clock next morning the silence of the enemy's batteries, 
followed by a cessation of the firing on the Union side, told 
the troops that the garrison had either fled or surrendered, 
and the cheering along the lines showed that the men had 
not lost their voices in the siege. For thirteen days and 
nights in succession there had not been a moment that the 
Seventh was not exposed to either musketry or artillery fire, 
or both. The men behaved exceedingly well, and many indi- 
vidual acts of heroism were performed by the field and line 
ofiicers and enlisted men. 

At daybreak of Sunday, the 9tli of April, the Union 
troops were able to look over the ground embraced within 
the enemy's lines, for which they had so earnestly contended. 
Early that morning Colonel Holbrook received orders to re- 
port back to the brigade, and shortly before noon the regi- 
ment, with the entire Thirteenth Corps, except Bertram's 
brigade left to garrison Spanish Fort, was on its way to 
Blakely, which, since April 2d had been besieged by Major- 
General Steele's forces from Pensacola. Toward evening, 
as the troops drew near Steele's line, they heard heavy firing 
and soon an order came down the line for the Seventh to 
prepare to take part in an assault. Before, however, the 
regiment could reach ground where it was able to form, 
Steele's men had gallantly stormed and carried the rebel 
works, and the Seventh had no opportunity to participate. 
General Steele took three generals and three thousand pris- 
oners and forty cannon. The assaulting column suffered 
some loss from torpedoes planted in front of the works. 


All the fore part of the night there were explosions of tor- 
pedoes, and some men were killed by them while searching 
for the dead and wounded. The next morning General 
Steele set the Confederate prisoners to clearing the ground 
of the torpedoes and little further trouble was experienced 
from them. Two days after the fall of the forts General 
Maury evacuated Mobile, and on the 12th the Union forces 
occupied the city. 

The Seventh regiment remained at Blakely until the 
11th, when with two divisions of the Thirteenth Corps under 
General Granger it marched back to Stark's Landing. Intel- 
ligence of the fall of Richmond was received on the march. 
The troops embarked on transports escorted by a fleet of 
gunboats and proceeded down the bay to Mobile. They 
landed at Magnolia Point, seven miles from the city, and 
marching to ^vithin a mile of Mobile, encamped for the 
night. A few of the officers who rode into the city that 
evening, hoping to get a good supper at one of the hotels, 
found scarcely anything left there in the way of food but 
corn bread and bacon. 

On the morning of the 13th Benton's division was or- 
dered in pursuit of the retreating enemy, and marched toward 
Whistler, a station on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, where 
the machine shops of the railroad were situated, and where 
the enemy were reported to be destroying much valuable 
property. Shortly before reaching the town the second 
brigade, leading the advance, was divided. Colonel Day 
with the Illinois and Iowa regiments taking • a road to the 
left, while the two other regiments under Colonel Holbrook, 
kept the line of the railroad. Colonel Day soon struck the 
enemy's rear guard of cavalry and sent to Holbrook 
for assistance. His men hiu'ried to the spot and soon found 
themselves under fire. The enemy had crossed a run skirted 
by a swamp, firing the bridge as they passed, and were 
posted on a slight eminence beyond ; and the Ninety-first 


Illinois were struggling waist-deep in the mud, in an effort 
to make their way across the swamp. The Seventh pushed 
forward on a run, passing the Fiftieth Indiana which had 
been in advance of them, and advanced to the bridge. Lieu- 
tenant Gilbert with company G put out the fire, and the 
regiment crossed the bridge, deployed beyond and opened 
fire on the enemy, who retreated. The regiment was highly 
praised for its conduct on this occasion. 

General Richard Taylor, in his "Destruction and Re- 
construction," alludes to this affair as " the last engagement 
of the Civil War." It was not such, however, as an action 
took place nearly a month later at Palmetto Ranche, near 
Brazos, Texas. This was, however, one of the last two hos- 
tile meetings of the war; and as Vermonters took part in the 
last charge of the Army of the Potomac at Appomattox, so 
they were in at the death of the Confederacy in the Depart- 
ment of the Gulf. 

The regiment remained at Whistler until the 19th, when 
the division moved to Mcintosh Bluff, on the Tombigbee 
River, about forty miles from Mobile, General Taylor's 
army being then at Meridian, a few miles further north. On 
the 23d, the Union troops received intelligence of the assas- 
sination of President Lincoln. Several Southern families at 
once sought the protection of the Union officers, fearing vio- 
lence from the exasperated soldiers. But there was no occa- 
sion for their fear. The sad news was received with deep 
horror and indignation, but retaliation was not thought of 
by the Northern troops. 

The absolute collapse of the Confederacy being now 
evident, a truce was arranged between General Canby and 
General Taylor, pending the result of the negotiations be- 
tween Generals Johnston and Sherman. These having ter- 
minated upon the disapproval by the United States govern- 
ment of the terms offered by General Sherman, General 
Canby prepared to resume hostilities. The Seventh Ver- 


mont was under orders to make a reconnoissance, and had 
started on it, when the column was met bj a flag of truce, 
with the announcement of Taylor's final surrender. This 
had been arranged between Generals Canby and Taylor, at 
Citronelle, on the 8th of May, and ended all hostilities east 
of the Mississippi. On the 9tli the Seventh returned to 
Mobile, with the division, by transport, and went into camp 
a little outside the city limits, where the news was soon re- 
ceived of the surrender of the last remaining Confederate 
armies, under Generals Thompson in Arkansas, and Kirby 
Smith west of the Mississippi. 

The loss of the regiment in the campaign against Mobile 
was 18 men wounded and 25 captured — a total of 43. Of the 
wounded men four died of their wounds.' That the regiment 
did good service in the campaign and won the favorable opin- 
ion of its commanding officers, is shown by the following ex- 
tract from Colonel Holbrook's report : 

In conclusion, I have only to say, that, from brigade to corps com- 
mander, each and every one has personally assured me, that they had per- 
fect confidence in my regiment and had on several occasions selected it for 
dangerous pobitions in which they feared to trust a less disciplined regi- 
ment ; and to their testimony I would add my own, and say, that every- 
where, and under all circumstances, both officers and men have shown 
courage, obedience and proficiency in their profession, and in no instance 
did they ever behave in a discreditable or unsoldier-like manner. 

This statement is confirmed Ijj that of General Canby, 
who, writing to Governor Smith of Vermont, said of the 
Seventh : 

' Since I have been in command here, their standing has been always 
good, and the inspection reports show them to be good soldiers, well 
drilled and efficient. During the recent campaign in Alabama they took 
part in the siege of Spanish Fort, aud the subsequent operations that re- 
sulted in the occupation of the State by the United States forces, and on 
all occasions behaved well. E. R. S. Canby, 

Major General." 

On the 2d of June Colonel Holbrook resigned, after 
nearly four years of honorable service. Captain Woodman 

' Charles W. Allard, company C, died May 6 ; Joseph Chamfreau, died 
June 14th; George J. Wallis, company G died April 8th; and Charles O. 
Storrs, company K, died April 10th, in the hands of the enemy. 


resigned three weeks later, and Captain Stearns and Lieuten- 
ant Cramer received honorable discharges. Assistant Sur- 
geon Foster having resigned in Februar}', Dr. Edwin W. 
Trueworthy, of Bvirlington, was appointed assistant surgeon, 
and First Lieutenant Finney of company D,"was promoted to 
be captain of company H. More recruits joined the regiment 
in May, and it numbered on the 1st of June, 775 officers and 

The war was over ; but the service of the Seventh was not 
yet ended. It was one of the regiments selected to form the 
Army of Observation, which, under General Godfrey Weitzel, 
was stationed on the Eio Grande, to await the outcome of 
the attempt to establish an empire in Mexico under the pro- 
tection of France. On the 2d of June it sailed from Mobile, 
on the steamer Sedgwick, for Brazos, Texas. It arrived 
there on the 5th and remained till the 14th, w^hen it marched 
to Clarksville, three miles above the mouth of the Rio 
Grande, where it remained six weeks, on guard and police 
duty, without exciting incidents. On the 29th of June Lieut- 
Colonel Peck was commissioned as colonel, a promotion to 
which he was entitled by faithful and gallant service from the 
outbreak of the war to its close. Major Porter succeeded 
him as lieutenant colonel,*and Captain Edgar M. Bullard of 
company F was appointed major. On the 4th of July the 
Declaration of Independence was read, and the command lis- 
tened to an address by General Cole, delivered from the deck 
of a wrecked schooner in the Rio Grande. 

On the 14th of July, 130 one-year recruits were mustered 
out. August 2d the regiment left Clarksville and marched to 
Brownsville, some thirty miles up the river, camping the first 
night at " Palmetto Ranche," where the last action of the war 
was fought three months before. The next day it reached 
Brownsville, went into camp on the bank of the Rio Grande, 
and there remained through the fall and winter. 

On the 26th of August Colonel Peck resigned, and Lieut- 


Colonel Porter was promoted colonel, Major Billiard lieuten- 
ant colonel, and Captain Smalley, major. Major Smalleywas 
mustered out in October, and Captain George E. Croff was 
commissioned as major. These officers all went out as line 
officers, had shared the various vicissitudes of the regiment, 
and had won all their promotions by intelligence and merit. 
Surgeon Blanch ard's term expired and he was mustered out 
in September, and Assistant Surgeon Trueworthy was pro- 
moted to be surgeon, October 1st. The life at Brownsville 
was uneventful, the principal entertainment being afforded 
by the operations of Maximilian's forces, Avhich held Mata- 
moras, and of the Mexicans, who occasionally laid siege to 
the place, at a safe distance from the imperialists' guns. 
The chief subjects of discussion among the troops were 
whether or no the Ai*my of Observation would be sent across 
the river to drive out the imperialists, and when the regi- 
ment would be allowed to go home for final muster out. For 
this almost all were impatient ; and earnest efforts were made 
by the State authorities to procure their discharge, but these 
were unavailing till the collapse of Louis Napoleon's Mexican 
experiment had become apparent, when an order for the dis- 
charge of the regiment was obtained. It was accordingly 
mustered out at Brownsville, March 14th, 1866, with 22 com- 
missioned officers and 326 enlisted men. It at once pro- 
ceeded by steamer to New Orleans. Here a number of the 
men, who had decided to remain and go into business in the 
South, bade good-bye to their comrades. The rest went 
North by steamer, arriving on the 5th of April, 1866, at 
Brattleboro, where a cordial reception was given by the citi- 
zens to the returning veterans, and the last of Vermont's 
volunteers to be disbanded were paid off and dispersed to 
their homes. 

The field and staff officers returning with the regiment 
were Colonel Henry M. Porter, Lieut. -Colonel Edgar M. 
Bullard, Major George E. Croff, Adjutant Charles H. Leach, 



Quartermaster Abner S. Fonda and Surgeon Edwin W. True- 
worthy. All of the twenty-two line officers mustered out 
with the regiment were among its original members, and all 
but two of them enlisted as privates. 

The following table, showing the losses of the regiment 
by death in the successive years of its service, exhibits a per- 
centage of loss by death exceeding that of any other Ver- 
mont regiment. Of its original members, one in every three 
found graves in the far South. Of the total number of 
deaths, 375 were from disease (not including those who died 
in Confederate prisons), a number far exceeding the losses of 
any other Vermont regiment from similar causes. Most of 
these deaths occurred in the Vicksburg campaign. 

Commissioned Officers.... 
Non-Commissioned Staff. 

Company A 

Company B 

Company C 

Company D 

Company E 

Company F 

Company G 


Company I 


Totals 295 31 .! 39 41 407 

1862 1863 (1864 1865 Total 












(*) One man of company A died in 1866. 

The list of campaigns and engagements of the Seventh 
is as follows : 


Siege of Vicksburg, ...... June and July, 1863. 

Baton Rouge, Aug. 5, 1862. 

Gonzales Station, -- July 15, 1804v 

Mobile campaign and Spanish Fort, - - March 17 to April 11, 1865. 
Whistler, April 13, 1865. 


The final statement is as follows : 

Original members — com. officers, 36; enlisted men, 907; total 943 


Promotion from other regiments, com. officers, 2 ; transfer from other 
regiments, enlisted men, 1 ; recruits, appointed com. officers, 5 ; 
enlisted men, 620 ; total, 625 ; total gain 628 

Aggregate 1571 


Promotion to U. S. army, con. officers, 1; enlisted men, 9 ; total 10 

Transfer to Vet. Res. Corps, enlisted men, 1 ; to regular army, enlist- 
ed men, 5; total 6 

Death, killed in action, com. officers, 2 ; from wounds received in ac- 
tion, com. officers, 1 ; enlisted men, 8 ; total 11 

Disease, com. officers, 4; enlisted men, 371 ; total 375 

Prisoners, enlisted men 6 

From accident, enlisted men 14 

Total by death 406 

Discharge, resignation, com. officers 30 

For disability, com. officers, 2; enlisted men, 239; total 241 

For wounds received in action, enlisted men 6 

Dishonorable, com. officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 4; total 6 

Total by discharge 283 

Deserted 100 

Not finally accounted for 1 

Total loss 806 

Mustered out of service, com. officers, 45; enlistti men, 720; total... 765 

Aggregate 1571 

Total wounded 23 

Total re-enlisted 355 



Sketch of Colonel Thomas— Organization— Rendezvous at Brattleboro — 
Departure for the War— At Ship Island— At New Orleans— At Algiers 
Reconnoissance to Thibodeaux— First blood shed at Raceland — Expe- 
dition to St. Charles C. H. — Disaster at Boutte Station and Bayou des 
Allemands— Brashear City — Assigned to the Nineteenth Corps — Steam- 
er Cotton— Bisland— Red River Campaign— Siege of Port Hudson ; 
First and Second Assaults; Incidents and Hardships — Back to the 
Techc — Re-enlistment and Veteran Furlough — Return to New Orleans 
— Ordered to Washington — Under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley 
— The Opequon — Fisher's Hill— Cedar Creek — Ordered to Savannah ; 
order revoked — The last Reviews — Return Home— Muster out — Final 

The Eiglitli regiment was designed from the outset for 
General Butler's New England Division. Its colonel was 
selected by General Butler ; and, unlike the Seventh, its 
officers and men not only understood that they were to be 
assigned to General Butler's command, but as a body were 
glad to be so assigned. It was the only Vermont regiment 
which retained its first colonel throughout its three years' 
term ; and it was fortunate in having throughout so long a 
period the leadership and example of a man of such genuine 
courage, patriotism, honest}-, truth and devotion to duty — 
qualities which largely impressed themselves upon his com- 

Stephen Thomas was the first Vermont colonel who was 
appointed directly from civil life and without previous mil- 
itary experience. He was born in Bethel, Vt., and inherited 
an honored name, his father having been a soldier of the war 


TB-E. ^'^-^ -iOn^M 



of 1812, in whicli be fell in battle, wbile bis grandfatber was 
a lieutenant of a New Hampsbire regiment in tbe war of tbe 
Kevolution. He was of sturdy Welsb stock on tbe paternal 
side. His motber was of a good Massacbusetts family. At 
tbe age of eigbteen be was apprenticed to a manufacturer of 
woollens, and subsequently became a manufacturer on bis 
own account. Early interested in politics, be became suc- 
cessively sberiff, judge of probate, and member of tbe Legis- 
lature. He bad been six times elected to tbe House and 
twice to tbe State Senate, before tbe war. He bad been a 
delegate to tbree National Democratic conventions, and bad 
Ijeen twice tbe Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor. 

Li November, 1861, during tbe session of tbe Legisla- 
ture, in wbicb Judge Tbomas represented tbe town of West 
Fairlee, General Butler visited Montpelier, and tendered to 
bim tbe colonelcy of tbe regiment wbicb tbe Legislature bad 
autborized to be raised for Butler's division. He besitated, 
for be doubted bis fitness for military life ; but bis patriotism 
overbore all bis doubts, and at tbe age of 51 — being over ten 
years older tban any otber Vermont colonel except Colonel 
Pbelps, be undertook tbe command of a tbousand Yermont- 
ers, recruited for special service in tbe far Soutb.' 

Tbe recruiting officers for tbe Eigbtb were selected by 
Colonel Tbomas, as follows : Cbas. B. Cbild, Derby Line 
Henry E. Foster, St. Jobnsbury ; Cyrus B. Leacb, Bradford 
Edward Hall, Worcester; Hiram E. Perkins, St. Albans 
Sam'l G. P. Craig, Randolpb ; Henry F. Dutton, Townsbend 

> Colonel Thomas's record in brief is as follows : Commissioned as 
colonel November 12th, 1861. Military commandant at Algiers, La., in 
1862. Engaged in the operations in Louisiana, and in the siege of Port 
Hudson, in 1863. In the Shenandoah Valley under Sheridan in 1864. 
Mustered out as colonel January 21st, 1865. Appointed Brigadier General 
of Volunteers, February 1st, 1865. Mustered out as Brigadier General 
August 24th, 1865. After the war. General Thomas was twice elected 
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont. He was also United States Pension 
Agent for several years and has held other offices of honor and trust. 



William W. Lynde, Marlboro ; and John S. Clarke, Lunen- 
burgli. The work of enlistment went rapidly forward. On 
the 23d of November Frederick E. Smith of Montpelier 
was appointed quartermaster and proved a most efficient co- 
laborer in the task of equipping and supplying the regiment. 
Colonel Thomas gave his personal attention to the task of 
recruiting the regiment, visiting the recruiting stations^ hold- 
ing war-meetings and pushing the work forward with char- 
acteristic energy. The rendezvous was fixed at Brattleboro, 
and during the first week in January, 1862, the companies be- 
gan to arrive, and went into camp on the level field southwest 
of the village, occupied by the Fourth Vermont four months 
before. It retained the name of " Camp Holbrook," given 
to it at that time. On the 7th six companies were in camp 
and on the 23d the last company arrived. They came from 
the counties of Franklin, Lamoille, Orleans, Essex, Caledo- 
dia. Orange (which furnished two companies), Washington, 
and Windham. Though recruited upon ground that had 
been already six times canvassed for recruits, the rank and 
file were of the best material — healthy young men, full of 
loyal spirit. For their shelter at Camp Holbrook, portable 
wooden houses had been provided, built in sections so that 
they could be taken apart and transported, and provided 
with bunks in tiers along the sides. Going into camp in 
the heart of a winter of unusual severity, many fell sick and 
Surgeon Gale and Assistant Surgeon Gillett, who had been 
commissioned on the lOtli of December, found plenty of 
business on their hands. Within the first week in camp 
fifty men were placed in hospital. Measles and mumps ran 
through the regiment, and chills and fever and diphtheria 
prostrated a few ; but the men had good medical care and no 
deaths occurred. 

On the 9th of January Edward M. Brown, then adjutant 
of the Fifth Vermont, was appointed lieutenant colonel. He 
was editor of the Montpelier Patriot when the war broke 


out, and was appointed adjutant of the Fiftli Vermont when 
that regiment was organized. He had had three or four 
months' service in the field, at Camp Griffin, and as the only 
field-officer of any military experience thus far appointed to 
the Eighth, he was a welcome accession. On the 19tli of 
January, Captain Charles Dillingham was commissioned as 
major. He was a son of Hon. Paul Dillingham, and was 
studying law in his father's office at Waterbury when Sum- 
ter was fired on. He at once dropped his studies for the 
sword, was active in recruiting a company for the first three 
years regiment, went out with the Second Vermont as cap- 
tain of company D, and had shared the experience of that 
regiment in camp and battle. About the middle of Janiiary 
the arms (Enfield rifles), furnished by the government, were 
received, and squad and company drill became the business 
of each day. A regimental band was organized, which sub- 
sequently attained high proficiency. The first dress parade 
took place on the 16th, at which the news of the capture of 
Fort Donelson, with 12,000 prisoners, by General IT. S. 
Grant, was read to the regiment by Colonel Thomas, who 
told the men that if they did not start soon for the front, the 
Western men would end the war and have all the glory. Af- 
ter some delay, due in part to the unwillingness of Governor 
Holbrook to permit the regiment to leave before the ex- 
penses of recruiting it, which had been borne by the State, 
had been reimbursed by the government, the regiment was 
mustered into the service of the United States, on the 18th 
of February, by Lieutenant J. W. Jo'nes of the regular army, 
United States mustering officer for Vermont. On the follow- 
ing day the list of field and staff officers was completed by 
the appointment, as adjutant, of John L. Barstow, a young 
farmer of Shelburn, who subsequently won distinction both 
in military and civil life, and became a respected and popu- 
lar governor of the State of Vermont. 


As tlius completed, the organization of the regiment was 
as follows : 

Colonel— Stephen Thomas, West Fairlee. 

Lieut. Colonel— Edward M. Brown, Montpelier. 

Major— Charles Dillingham, Waterbury. 

Adjutant — John L. Barstow, Shelburn. 

Quartermaster— Fred E. Smith, Montpelier. 

Surgeon — George F. Gale, Brattleboro. 

Assistant Surgeon— Heman H. Gillett, Corinth. 

Chaplain— Francis C. Williams, Brattleboro. 

Company A, Captain Luman M. Grout, Elmore. 

Company B, " Charles B. Child, Derby. 

Company C, " Henry E. Foster, Waitsfield. 

Company D, " Cyrus B. Leach, Bradford. 

Company E, " Edward Hall, Worcester. 

Company F, " Hiram E. Perkins, St. Albans. 

Company G, " Samuel G. P. Craig, Randolph. 

Company H, " Henry F. Dutton, Ludlow. 

Company I, ' ' Wm. W. Lynde, Marlboro. 

Company K, ' ' John S. Clark, Lunenburg. 

The non-commissioned staff were George N. Carpenter, sergeant- 
major; J.Elliott Smith, quartermaster sergeant; Lewis Child, commis- 
sary sergeant; Gershom H. Flagg, drum major; Samuel H. Currier, 
hospital steward. 

The departure of the regiment, after it was otherwise 
ready, was delayed by a deficiency of medical stores, until 
Colonel Thomas and Surgeon Gale succeeded with difficulty 
in obtaining a limited supply. At last, however, on the 14th 
of March, 1862, the regiment, ten hundred and sixty strong, 
together with the First Battery, which had been raised mean- 
time for General Butler's division and reported to Colonel 
Thomas at Camp Holbrook, took train and departed for the 
field, with the usual demonstrations on the part of the citi- 
zens. The sectional houses, in which the men had been 
quartered, were taken with them to New York, but were 
never used by the troops after they left Camp Holbrook. 
The journey by rail down the Connecticut valley was at- 
tended by the customary demonstrations. At Northamp- 
ton, Mass., much enthusiasm was excited by the exhibi- 
tion of a rebel flag which had been captured by a Massachu- 


setts regiment, and sent home as a trophy. At Springfield 
the ladies served refreshments. At New Haven, at nightfall, 
the regiment went on board the steamer Granite State and 
the men awoke next morning in the East River. As tlie 
steamer neared the dock at New York the sailing transports 
James Hovey and Wallace, were seen at anchor in the stream, 
and it was soon learned that they were waiting for the regi- 
ment and battery. The regiment landed and marched to 
City Hall barracks, for rations, and had a warm greeting 
during the day from the Vermonters in New York. That 
afternoon the regiment embarked. In the evening, the field, 
staff and line officers, were tendered a dinner at the Metro- 
politan Hotel, by the Sons of 'Vermont, at which patriotic 
speeches were made by Hon. E. W. Stoughton and Colonel 
Frank E. Howe, to which Colonel Thomas returned a fitting 

On the afternoon of the 9th of March, the Hovey, bear- 
ing the colonel, major, quartermaster, assistant surgeon and 
six companies, and the Wallace with the lieutenant-colonel, 
adjutant, surgeon and the other four companies and the 
battery, set sail. A heavy gale at once separated the vessels. 
When out of sight of land, the sealed orders under which 
they had sailed were opened and it was found, as had been 
expected, that their destination was Ship Island. The voy- 
age was long and stormy, the ships crowded, and everybody 
sea-sick. Fears of capture by Confederate gunboats prevail- 
ed — especially one day when an armed steamer bore down 
on the Hovey. It proved, however, to be a Union gun- 
boat. On the 6th of April, after a voyage of twenty-seven 
days, the Hovey and the Wallace, arriving a few hours apart, 
dropped anchor at Ship Island. Enos L. Davis of company 
I, a boy of 18 years, of Newfane, died of prostration on the 
voyage and was buried at sea. 

At Ship Island the regiment was assigned to the com- 
mand of General John W. Phelps. The men had hardly 


pitched tlieir tents on the white sand, when one of the 
severest storms known for years, burst upon the island. The 
camp of the Eighth was overflowed by the rising sea, the 
men retreating with their baggage to higher ground, and 
there was serious apprehension tliat the whole island might 
be submerged; but the gale abated, and the troops took 
courage. Daily drills were now resumed, and on the 8th of 
April the Eighth participated, with 14,000 other troops, in a 
grand review of the division, by General Butler, which was 
an imposing sight to the eyes of the Vermonters, unused as 
yet to the pomp and circumstance of war. 

On the 18th all listened with suppressed excitement to 
the booming of heavy guns, which came from the southwest, 
where, sixty miles away. Porter's mortar boats were bom- 
barding the forts below New Orleans ; and in due time the 
occupation of that city was chronicled on the island, in the 
Soldiers JVews. This was a little newspaper, printed by 
Alfred W. Eastman of company K, on a small printing press 
and outfit of type, which, through some unusual provision 
against possible needs, had been brought along with the 
camp equipage of the Eighth. Its publisher claimed with 
perfect truth, that it was " the best paper ever published on 
Ship Island." 

Before General Butler had fairly occupied New Orleans, 
he sent to Ship Island for the Eighth. The regiment struck 
camp on the Gtli of May and embarked before daylight 
next day on the Hovey, and set sail for the mouth of the 
Mississippi. A number of sick men were left behind, as 
were the bodies of two of their comrades,' who died of dis- 
ease on the island and were buried in its shifting sands. 

At night of the 8th, the Hovey reached the Southwest 
Pass and rode at anchor off the mouth for two days till a 
steamer came to tow her up to New Orleans. The passage 

Corporal George Walker, company G,and Charles S. Lamb, company D. 


up the river was full of interest and excitement. The semi- 
tropical vegetation; the levees, filled to the brim with the 
vast volume of waters, on which the ship rode high above 
the rice plantations ; the shores strewn with the wrecks of 
the Confederate gunboats destroyed in the naval fight ; the 
forts on either hand over which now flew the stars and 
stripes ; the throngs of blacks along the banks, who hailed 
the troops with every sign of welcome, — were new and inter- 
esting sights to the A-^ermonters. A little before sunset of the 
12th, they first caught sight of the Crescent City, still can- 
opied with smoke from its burned warehouses and smoulder- 
ing docks. It was filled with multitudes of unemployed 
workmen and roughs, most of whom made no attempt to 
conceal their hatred toward the Union troops. The richer 
and influential citizens excited rather than soothed the pas- 
sions of the mob. The women were bold and persistent in 
their insults. The entrance on such a scene was not likely 
to be forgotten by any of the Vermonters. Colonel Thomas 
reported to General Shepley, who had arrived two days be- 
fore and had been appointed military commandant of the 
city, and in the evening of the 12th the regiment landed, 
loaded muskets in the street, and marched, to the strains of 
Yankee Doodle, which drowned the secession songs with 
which the crowds around them greeted the new comers, to 
the Union Cotton Press, close to the river, where the regi- 
ment was temporarily quartered. They were in a hostile 
city ; and there was no sleep for the officers and little for the 
men, that night.' Strong guards were posted and the men 
felt under little temptation to leave quarters. One man, 
however," undertook to run the guard, was challenged by the 

'" We find," said General Butler, in Ms General Order of May 9tli, 
■■62, " substantially only fugitive masses, runaway property -burners, a 
whiskey-drinking mob and starving citizens with their wives and children. 
It is our duty to call back the first, to punish the second, root out the third, 
feed and protect the last." 

^ Victor Rotary of G company. 


sentinel, and refusing to stop, was fired on and received a 
wound from wliicli he died three weeks after. On the 17th 
the regiment was established in permanent quarters in the 
large building of the Mechanics Institute and in the ad- 
joining Medical College of Louisiana. These buildings 
afibrded airy and convenient quarters ; rations were ample, 
and the men made themselves thoroughly comfortable. The 
regiment began at once to take its share of the police and 
provost guard duty, which, wdth the distribution of food to 
the starving citizens, formed the occupation of the garrison 
of New Orleans. General Butler's orders were strict, for his 
soldiers as well as for the citizens. Officers must not appear 
on the streets alone or without their side arms. All must 
pass through the streets in silence, take no ofience at insults 
and threats, and if any violence was attempted must simply 
arrest the offenders. Obedience to these orders formed a 
severe test alike of temper and of discipline. Kumors of a 
projected rising of the citizens and of the return of General 
Lovell with his army to recapture the city, were rife ' and 
night after night the troops slept on their arms, in readiness 
for instant action. 

In the organization of police districts Major Dillingham 
was appointed commandant of a district, and each captain 
was assigned to a sub-district, the soldiers taking the place 
of the city police, which had been disbanded by General 
Butler. Large details were made each morning to protect 
public and private property, to seize concealed arms, and to 
arrest disorderly and suspicious persons. General Butler 
began early also to select men of the Eighth for special ser- 
vice. Needing a practical telegrapher and a man of capac- 
ity, for superintendent of the telegraph lines, of which he 

' General Lovell states in his report to the Confederate War Depart- 
ment, that he made formal offer to the mayor and to prominent citizens, to 
return " and not leave as long as one brick remained upon another" if they 
desired. They, however, he says, " urged decidedly that it be not done,'* 


had taken possession, he made inquiry of the commanders 
of the regiments for such a man, and found him in the per- 
son of Q. M. Sergeant J. Elliot Smith, of the Eighth. Ser- 
geant Smith was thereupon promoted to a lieutenancy on 
General Butler's staff, and appointed military superintend- 
ent of the telegraph lines, and of the fire alarm telegraph of 
the city." He selected his operators and assistants, some 
forty in number, largely from the Eighth ; instructed them 
in practical telegraphy, and soon had the lines working to 
Camp Parapet, at Carrollton, eight miles north of the city, 
where General Phelps was stationed with the Seventh Ver- 
mont and other regiments ; to Milnburg on Lake Pontchar- 
train ; to the passes of the Mississippi ; to Forts Jackson 
and St. Philip, Berwick Bay, Thibodeaux, Rigolets, Don- 
aldsonville, and other points. 

Corporal Wm. H. Gilmore of company D was appointed 
quartermaster's sergeant, in place of Sergeant Smith. The 
Eighth remained in New Orleans nearly a month, when 
Colonel Thomas was ordered to take his regiment across the 
river to Algiers, a suburb of New Orleans and the terminus of 
the New Orleans and Opelousas railroad, to relieve the 
Twenty-third Indiana, which was sent to General Williams 
at Baton Rouge. On the 31st of May, leaving company D 
behind as provost guard in the city, the Eighth crossed the 
river and took up its quarters in the large railroad depot in 
Algiers. This with its broad sheltered platforms and ample 
rooms, amid surroundings of green grass and shade trees, 
afforded healthy and agreeable quarters for ofiicers and men. 
The regiment ^\ as the only Union force on that side of the 
Mississippi, and Colonel Thomas had general charge of the 
district of country around Algiers, in a semi-civil as well as 
military capacity, with his own provost judge and marshal — • 

' Lieutenant Smith was a brother of Quartermaster Smith. Since the 
war he has been for many years the capable superintendent of the fire- 
alarm telegraph in New York city. 


the latter being Captain Cliarles B. Child of company B. 
The only hostile force in the region was an irregular body of 
mounted men, armed with fowling pieces. These generally 
kept at a safe distance, and confined their operations to oc- 
casionally tearing up portions of the railroad track. Pickets 
were thrown out along the railroad to La Fourche Crossing, 
some fifty miles out. The track to that point, which the enemy 
had destroyed, was repaired ; and practical railroad men were 
found in the ranks of the regiment, by whose exertions, under 
the directions of Lieutenant Kilburn Day of company G, who 
was made engineer of the road, the tracks and rolling stock 
were put in order, and military trains, on which civilians 
were permitted only by special permission, were run regularly 
between Algiers and La Fourche. At about the same time following men were detailed for the signal service : Lieu- 
tenant F. D. Butterfield, of company B ; Lieutenant G. F. 
French, of company K ; Clias. F. Russell, of company A ; H. 
C. Abbott, of company C ; C. G. Tarbell and George Graves, 
of company G ; O. N. Webster, of company I ; and H. K. 
Stoddard, of company K. June 6th, First Lieutenant E. B. 
Wright resigned, and Sergeant- Major George N. Carpenter 
was promoted first lieutenant of company C. 

As in the case of every occupation of territory in the 
slave States by the forces of the Union, the question of the 
" contraband" at once presented itself, and with greater pres- 
sure here in Louisiana than anywhere else. General Butler's 
position at this time, in regard to this question, was, that he 
would employ as manj- of the negroes who thronged into his 
lines as he had any use for ; and thousands were so employed 
as cooks and laborers. Those for whom employment could 
not be found, were not to be harbored in the camps. This 
latter rule afforded all the permission desired by regimental 
officers who were fond of declaring that this was no " aboli- 
tion war," to return fugitive slaves to loyal owners. The 
Eicfhth had a number of officers and some men who held the 


conservative side of tlie slavery question ; and several negroes 
— how many is not known ; not many, however — were deliv- 
ered to masters who came to claim them, upon proof that 
the claimant had taken the oath of allegiance to the Govern- 
ment. The majority of the regiment, however, shared the 
anti-slavery feeling of the great inass of the people of the 
State whose first Constitution, in its first article, forbade prop- 
erty in man ; and this returning of fugitives aroused intense 
excitement. One day a negro, bearing the marks of shackles 
on his ankles, was followed into the camp of the Eighth by 
his master, who ordered him to return with him to the plan- 
tation. The black man refusing to go, tlte white man began 
to enforce his authority, as of old, with force and a leathern 
strap. The sight and sound of the flogging drew at once a 
crowd of Vermonters, who promptly kicked the white man 
out of camp and led the fugitive to a place of safet}'. The 
regiment was thereupon called into line by Lieut. Colonel 
Brown, and after a severe lecture on their conduct, the men 
were informed that they were not to interfere with the per- 
sonal property of citizens, "whether in slaves or anything 
else." The mass of the men, however, declined to accept 
either the rebuke or the instructions. Indignation ran high, 
and a number of the men, expecting an order to deliver up 
the negro, who liiid been secreted in the camp, pledged 
themselves to protect him and to refuse obedience to any 
such order, even at the cost of trial and punishment for muti- 
ny. No such order came, however, and the slave owners soon 
learned that the camp of the Eighth Vermont was not a good 
place in which to search for slaves. Many black men were 
passed on by the men to the camp of General Phelps at Car- 
rollton, where they were safe from all claimants, loyal or dis- 
loyal ; and it was not long before all surrendering of fugitives 

About this time, General Phelps began to organize and 
drill the negroes as soldiers ; and when his requisition for 


muskets for three regiments of colored men was disallowed 
and lie was peremptorily ordered by General Butler to desist 
from organizing colored troops, he resigned his commission ; 
and the Government, which before the war closed had 175,000 
colored men under arms, thus lost the services of as brave, 
faithful and patriotic an officer as it had in its army ; one 
whose only fault as a soldier was that he was a little in ad- 
vance of his superiors, in willingness to accept the aid of all 
loyal citizens, white or black, in the overthrow of rebellion. 
Before long Colonel Thomas, whose personal sympathies 
were on the side of liberty and humanity, also concluded 
that the blacks coiild and should be used as soldiers. He 
urged the point with General Butler, and his arguments, com- 
bined with the logic of events, brought the general to the 
same conclusion. General Butler began enrolling and arm- 
ing colored regiments ; and was shortly on record in as seri- 
ous an admonition, addressed to General Weitzel, for declin- 
ing to command colored troops, as he had administered to 
General Phelps for organizing such troops. Colonel Thomas, 
however, had no scruples in regard to commanding black 
soldiers ; and he later earned the right to be proud of the 
fact that under him the first actual service of a colored regi- 
ment in the field, in the war for the Union, took place. 

As time went on, the number of negroes who gathered 
about the Union camp at Algiers increased to thousands of 
men, women and children, who received daily rations from 
the quartermaster. Nor was care of them confined to preserv- 
ing them from starvation. Details of men from the regiment 
were made to look after them. Private Rufus Kinsley and 
others taught many of them to read; "Father'" Blake gave 
them religious instruction ; and such care did not altogether 
cease with the sojourn of the regiment in Louisiana, for two 
colored boys, Scott and Henry Montgomery, were educated 
in Northern schools by officers of the Eighth, in order that 
they might educate others of their race ; and they became, 


after the war, one a teacher in Washington, D. C, and the 
other a professor in a college for colored students in Missis- 

During the last week in May Lieut. Colonel Brown was 
detailed by General Butler to take editorial charge of the 
New Orleans Delta. This leading daily journal having vio- 
lated General Butler's proclamation forbidding the publica- 
tion of rebellious articles, was taken possession of by Gen- 
eral Butler, and transformed into a loyal sheet. Lieut. 
Colonel Brown was assisted in the editorial department by 
Major J. M. Bell, provost judge of New Orleans (formerly of 
Haverhill, N. H.), and Captain Clark of General Butler's 
staff; and an issue of 10,000 copies daily, in two editions, 
gave due circulation to the numerous orders and proclama- 
tions of the general commanding. 

Early in June a reconnoissance was made by Lieut. 
Colonel Dillingham, with three companies, to Thibodeaux, 
four miles north of La Fourche Crossing. The village was 
found deserted by the white men ; an iron foundry which 
had been employed in casting shells was destroyed ; a young 
ladies' seminary was serenaded with Yankee Doodle and 
other martial airs ; and an old cannon was found and brought 
away as a trophy. 

The large details from the Eighth for guard duty and 
special service, which commonly left but three or four com- 
panies in camp at any one time, of course interfered with 
drill ; but the men nevertheless made fair progress in the 
duties of the soldier. As yet, however, they had hardly seen 
an armed enemy. The first actual fighting, on the part of 
any portion of the regiment, took place on the 22d of June. 
A few days before this the enemy became active in front, 
under orders from the Confederate Governor Moore, to Gen- 
eral Martin, commanding the Louisiana militia, directing him 
to attack the Union outposts and destroy the railroad. On 
the 20th Colonel Thomas withdrew the three companies 


stationed at La Fourclie Crossing. Two of the companies 
returned to Algiers, leaving company H, Captain Dutton, at 
Bayou des Allemands. On the 22d, having learned that the 
rebels were tearing up the track to the west of him, Captain 
Dutton sent out Lieutenant Franklin with thirty men to 
reconnoitre. The party was placed in a passenger car, 
which was cautiously backed up the railroad. No enemy 
was discovered till, as they approached Raceland station, 
seven miles out from Bayou des Allemands, a mounted 
man was seen to ride across the track. Franklin halted and 
sent forward an advance squad of six men under Sergeant 
Smith, following them slowly with the train. Suddenly a 
volley burst from behind the fringe of wild cane along the 
side of the track, and a shower of buckshot whistled through 
and around the car. Lieutenant Franklin, who stood on the 
platform of the car with Private Richardson by his side, re- 
ceived five buckshot wounds in his breast, side and arms, 
while Richardson fell forward on the track, a dead man- 
Though severely wounded, Franklin did not lose his pres- 
ence of mind. Ordering his men in the car to kneel and 
fire from the windows, he himself sprang from the car and 
ran to the engine. The fireman lay dead upon the tender 
and the engineer was crouching in the iron-clad cab of the 
locomotive. Franklin ordered him to put on steam and the 
train was soon in motion to the rear. It ran through a party 
of the enemy, who had begun to tear up the track behind it, 
before they had time to displace the rails, and sped back to 
Bayou des Allemands. Lieutenant Franklin, Sergeant 
Smith and the unwounded men of the advance squad board- 
ed the car as it started back. The bodies of Corporals Mc- 
Clure and Saunders, who were killed on the track, and of 
Private Richardson, were left where they fell and were buried 
by the enemy. The casualties by this unfortunate affair 
were five men killed, including the fireman, and two officers, 

' Franklin still carries some of these shot in his body. 


Lieutenants Franklin and Holton, and seven men wounded.' 

The Confederate force engaged in this aflfair was a com- 
pany of Louisiana militia under command of a Captain Dar- 
don. It was learned afterwards that they lost three men 
killed and several wounded by the fire from the car win- 
dows. The wounded men of the Eighth were sent on at 
once to Algiers, where their arrival created great excitement, 
and companies A, C and I were at once sent out by train to 
reinforce the rest of company H at Bayou des Allemands. 
The enemy, however, did not appear at that outpost. 

June 24th Surgeon George F. Gale resigned and soon 
returned home. Resolutions were adopted by the line offi- 
cers, expressing their confidence in him and regret at his 
departure. Assistant Surgeon Gillett succeeded him as sur- 
geon, and Hospital Steward Samuel H. Currier (of West 
Fairlee) was appointed assistant surgeon. 

On the 27th Andrew McKenzie of company B, a boy of 
19, was drowned while bathing. 

During July and August the regiment picketed the right 
bank of the Mississippi for thirteen miles from the " Cut-off 
road " below Algiers to the canal above ; guarded the rail- 
road for thirty-two miles, to Bayou des Allemands ; main- 
tained order in the town, and arrested many citizens who 
attempted to pass out of the lines. Serious illness prevailed 
in the command, and three line officers. Lieutenants Band, 
Child and Kellogg died within three days, July 22 — 24. The 
vacancies were filled by the promotions of Sergeant Dennis 
Buckley to be second lieutenant of company D ; First 
Sergeant L. M. Hutchinson to be second lieutenant of com- 

' The killed were Corporal Henry K. McClure, Corporal John W. 
Saunders, Lowell M. Richardson and Marshall W. Wellman. The wounded 
were First Lieutenant A. B. Franklin, seriously ; Second Lieutenant W. 
H. H. Holton, Sergeants S. E. Howard, W. H. Smith and George M. 
Allard, and privates Clark B. Akeley, Ebenezer Oaks, Jr., Andrew J. Wood 
and Calvin L. Cook. 


pany A ; First Sergeant A. J. Sargent to be second lieuten- 
ant of company E. 

The regiment shared the excitement attending the battle 
of Baton Rouge, in the first week of August, and the general 
concern of all Vermonters over the misfortunes of the 
Seventh Vermont — heretofore related. 

Information having been received that the enemy were 
collecting cattle, at a point about iovij miles above Algiers, 
for the use of the Confederate army on the east side of the 
Mississippi, Colonel Birge of the Thirteenth Connecticut, 
the brigade commander to whom Colonel Thomas reported 
at this time, directed the latter to take a suitable force and 
proceed thither. Colonel Thomas accordingly started, on 
the morning of August 28th, with company A, Captain 
Grout ; company C, Captain Foster ; two pieces of light ar- 
tillery in charge of Lieutenant Morse of company I, and a 
comj)any of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, 200 men in 
all. They went by rail to Boutte Station, twenty-four miles 
out, and thence marched to St. Charles Court House, where 
they camped for the night. Starting next morning at day- 
light, and passing on the way a drove of 500 cattle which 
had arrived there the night before from Texas, Thomas 
proceeded towards Bonnet Carre, where the Confederate 
force, reported by the negroes to be 300 strong, was en- 
camped. About eight miles from the Court House, the cav- 
alry scattered a small Confederate force, and captured two 
prisoners. The artillery was brought forward, and shelled 
the main body out of a cane field near b}', wounding one 
man, who was captured. The rest scattered into the 
swamps. Colonel Thomas went on two miles, and finding 
no enemy, turned back, collecting horses, cattle, mules and 
sheep in large numbers from the plantations on the way. 
Three white men were taken prisoners on the return. 
Marching through the following night, and using the contra- 
bands who joined him to help in driving the cattle and 


sheep, Thomas returned to Algiers in the forenoon of the 
30th, heading a procession three miles long, comprising five 
hundred negroes, nearly a thousand head of cattle and hun- 
dreds of sheep and mules. The march home, of forty miles, 
was made in twenty-eight hours. No one was hurt and 
there was no straggling, though the heat and dust were 
severe ; and all concerned won much praise. 

The Opelousas railroad, which for thirty miles was held 
by the Eighth, was the passage-way to a fertile country, im- 
portant to both armies as a source of supplies. To guard it 
effectively required large details for pickets and train guards. 
At Bayou Des Allemands, the farther outpost, one hundred 
and fifty men were stationed, of companies E, G and K, under 
command of Captain Hall of company E. Trains started 
daily from Algiers and Bayou Des Allemands, passing each 
other at Boutte Station. These two stations were the scenes 
of the heaviest loss of men ever suffered by the regiment in 
one day. 

Shortly after the close of the Peninsular campaign in 
July, General E-ichard Taylor, son of President Zachary Tay- 
lor, was detached from Lee's army at B,ichmond, and sent 
down to his native State, to raise recruits for the Confeder- 
ate army in Western Louisiana, and to command the Con- 
federate forces in that region. He arrived on the ground in 
August. His home plantation was in St. Charles Parish, 
near Bayou Des Allemands; and his property had been con- 
fiscated, his cattle taken to feed the Union soldiers, and his 
house rifled by the latter. Familiar as he was with the re- 
gion, he was not slow to perceive that the outpost at Bayou 
Des Allemands was exposed to attack, nor unwilling to pay 
off his private score by its capture. He sent thither, for that 
purpose, from Donaldsonville, fifty miles up the river, Wal- 
ler's battalion of mounted Texan riflemen and a force of 
Louisiana militia under General John G. Pratt. Waller, 
moving rapidly by night, reached Boutte Station in the early 



morning of the 4tli of September, captured the picket guard 
at that point, disarranged the switches, hid his men in the 
bushes by the side of the track, and awaited the train 
from Bayou Des Allemands. This consisted of platform cars, 
on which was a train guard of sixty men, under Captain Clark 
of company K. They had with them a 12-pound hoAvitzer, 
mounted on the forward car. As the train ran upon the side- 
track at the station, the concealed enemy opened a murder- 
ous fire. All of the artillerists, twelve in number, and a num- 
ber of the others, were killed or wounded by the first volley. 
A moment later the train collided with an empty passenger 
car, left standing on the siding, with force enough to knock 
some of the men from the cars. The men returned the fire, 
and the engineer kept the train in motion, in order to take 
it out of the range of the whistling bullets, when a new dan- 
ger presented itself in the open switch at the other end of 
the siding. The derailment and destruction of the train 
sSemed inevitable, when private Louis J. Ingalls, taking in 
the situation at a glance, leaped to the ground, ran swiftly 
in advance of the moving train, through a shower of bullets, 
and replaced the s^witch. His escape from death was mar- 
vellous. He received four bullet wounds, one ball carrying 
his silk handkerchief, knotted about his throat, into his 
neck, and a wound in the side from which Father Blake 
picked 22 bird -shot; but he was able to board the car as it 
passed him ; and the train, thus heroically saved from de- 
struction, was soon out of rifle range with its load of dead, 
dying and wounded. A mile below the station, the train met 
the train coming from Algiers. The engines were reversed in 
time to prevent a collision ; and the two trains made the best 
speed possible to Algiers, to carry the news of the disaster, 
and of the danger awaiting the detachment at Bayou Des Al- 
lemands. Of the sixty men on the train, but twenty-five es- 
caped unhurt. Fourteen were killed or mortally wounded^ 


twenty-two others wounded, and several un wounded men were 

After plundering the killed and the prisoners, firing the 
station, and destroying the track and culverts for several 
miles, Waller started up the track, his men marching dis- 
mounted, to Bayou Des Allemands. Coming in sight of the 
Union picket, he sent forward a flag of truce to summon the 
outpost to surrender, representing that he had a thousand 
men with him ; that he had captured the train and howitzer 
which left Bayou Des Allemands that morning ; and that re- 
sistance was useless and escape impossible. After some par- 
ley, through Lieutenant Green, who was sent out with a flag 
by Captain Hall, the demand was complied with. For this 
surrender, Captain Hall was much blamed by General Butler, 
and it cannot be denied that there was some ground for the 
censure. The position at Bayou Des Allemands was protected 
by swamps in the direction of the enemy, and was approach- 
able from that quarter only by the railroad track, which was 
too narrow to permit the deployment of any considerable 
force. Hall had a 12-pound howitzer and two Ellsworth ma- 
chine guns, the latter throwing ounce balls a mile. Had he 
made the utmost resistance possible, he might have repulsed 
an attack, and perhaps have held out till help came. On the 
other hand, it is to be remembered that he and his men had 
never been under fire. Their position was not entrenched, 

' The killed were : Company A, Sylvanus F. Ailes ; company E, Si- 
mon E. Bailey, John S. Colgrove, Wm. R. Gray, Fred Greenwood, Henry 
McGookin, and Louis Brust; company K, Charles R. Carroll, George J. 
Corson, and Charles F. Stone. The wounded were : Company C, George 
Clapper; company E, John P. Jones, Andrew J. Morse, Benjamin F. 
Morse, Geo. II. Poor, Leander Shontell, Edwin II. Nelson, and Lorenzo S. 
"Warren; company F, John M. Goodchild ; company G, G. H. Farmer; 
company I, George P. Burrows ; company K, Corp. Chauncey M. Snow, 
Corp. George W. Hill, Henry C. Woodruff, Ezra S. Pierce, Gilbert Leed, 
Arthur M. Raymond, John G. Gordon, Pierre Placette, Henry Roseblade, 
Charles F. Presbrey, Ethan P. Shores, Lewis J. Ingalls, and Augusta 
Lamont. Of these George Clapper, George H. Farmer, G. H. Poor and A. 
Lamont died of their wounds. 


no spades having been siipplied, and their orders being to 
evacuate when threatened in force. Their supply of ammuni- 
tion was short, some of the men liaving only eight or ten 
rounds in their boxes. The howitzer was trained upon the 
track ; but Hall hesitated to fire, because Lieutenant Green 
was in front, held between two mounted ofiicers. The enemy 
was evidently present in vastly superior force ; and the Union 
officers thought that their only alternative was death or cap- 
ture. Captain Hall subsequently proved himself to be a 
brave and capable officer ; and he fell in battle, at last, in the 
gallant discharge of his duty. With greater experience he 
probably would not have surrendered without a fight. 

The force which surrendered at Bayou des Allemands 
consisted of four officers — Captain Hall and Lieutenant Sar- 
gent of company E, and Lieutenants Green and Mead of 
company G — and 138 men. Lieutenant Morse, who had 
charge of the artillery, escaped while the surrender was in 
progress, and taking a boat, rowed three miles up the bayou, 
where he landed and hid for three days in a vacant house. 
He finally made his way through the swamps to the river, 
was taken on board a passing steaiper, and reached the 
camp at Algiers, after a week of hardship, hatless, barefooted 
and suffering from a fever which kept him for some days in 
hospital. A careful list, reported by Adjutant Barstow, Oc- 
tober 1st, gave the names of 151 officers and men reported 
missing, of whom nine came in later, making the number ac- 
tually missing 142, and the total of casualties 178. 

This affair caused no little rejoicing among the Louisiana 
rebels.' It also occasioned a spicy correspondence between 
Generals Taylor and Butler. Having learned that pictures, 

' " This trifling success, the first in the State since the loss of New 
Orleans, attracted attention, and the people rejoiced at the capture of the 
Des Allemands garrison as might those of Greece at the unearthing of the 
classic thief, Cacus. Indeed, the den of that worthy never contained such 
multifarious 'loot' as did this Federal camp." — General. R. Taylor: 
Destruction and Heconstruction, p. Ill 


keepsakes and clothing, taken from his own mansion with a 
disregard of the rights of personal property which became too 
common on both sides as the war went on — though in this 
case the taking was considered lawful by the boys, since 
Taylor's property had been confiscated by formal order — had 
been found in the captured camp at Bayou des Allemands, 
General Taylor sent Ex-Governor WicklifT, of Louisiana, 
to General Butler, under a flag of truce, with a letter inform- 
ing Butler that his troops were conducting marauding expe- 
ditions and appropriating private property, and saying that he 
might feel compelled to deal with the men captured at Bayou 
des Allemands as robbers rather than as soldiers. To this 
letter General Butler replied as follows : 

The troops at Bayou des Allemands were an advance 
post, guarding a railroad bridge, and not an expedition at 
all, nor were they allowed to go on any expedition up the 
coast or elsewhere, so that upon this topic I am constrained 
to believe you were misinformed. I need not say that acts 
such as you describe are neither ordered or tolerated by the 
government or by myself. That unlicensed acts are com- 
mitted by troops upon marching service is the well-known 
fact of all civilized warfare. If any deeds such as you de- 
scribe have been committed, and 3'ou will semi me the ^vrit- 
ten evidence that you have, together with the parties, my 
acts heretofore should convince you that they will be prop- 
erly punished. Therefore if you have the guilty parties, you 
will do well to allow them to be exchanged, as it will be im- 
possible for me to ascertain their guilt if you retain them. I 
could have wished that this answer to your communication 
could have ended here, and that you could have contented 
yourself not to threaten. It is true you have 136 men duly 
enlisted in the Eighth Vermont regiment, including their 
officers ; but how captured? A part by ambush of a supply 
train. This savors rather of savage than civilized warfare. 
' But the worst remains behind.' I am informed that the 
guerrilla force which made the capture of the post at Des Al- 
lemands raised a flag of truce ; that it was answered by an- 
other flag from my men, the bearers of which were either 
seized or detained ; that a second flag was sent out to demand 
a return of the first, and the bearers of both were placed at 
the head of the advancing column, so that my men could fire 


only ii})on tlieir friends. Is this civilized, or savage warfare? 
It reads precisely like the history of similar strategy by 
Toussaint L'Overture toward the French forces in San Do- 
mingo, and wonld seem, therefore, to be not even original. I 
have within my lines five times 130 officers and men of the 
Confederate service as prisoners of war, from a brigadier gen- 
eral to the inconsiderate lad of sixteen. I shall treat these 
with every courtesy due their position. No hair of the head 
of one of my captured soldiers ought to be touched upon any 
pretext of reprisal or retaliation. I trust you will reconsider 
your determination to do so, in any event. That I punish 
marauders with promptness, the women and children of 
New Orleans, who sleep in calm quiet under our flag, will tell 
you ; that I deal generously with my enemies, a thousand and 
nineteen families of Confederate soldiers now being fed from 
my rations, will testify ; that I will protect and avenge the 
wrongs and lives of my fellow-soldiers committed to my care, 
you, as a soldier, can judge. I have the honor to be your 
obedient servant. 

Benj. F. Butler, 

Major General Commanding. 

General Taylor says in eftect that he did not receive this 
or any reply from General Butler ; but it was a document 
which he would prefer to forget, if he could. That it an- 
swered its purpose is certain, for no Yermouter was pun- 
ished by him for any alleged robbery. 

With the exception of some Germans who were held and 
executed as deserters, the men taken at Bayou des Allemands 
received fair treatment from their captors. They were 
marched to Fort Pratt, near New Iberia, a hundred miles dis- 
tant. Thence, after six weeks, they were sent to Vicksburg, 
where they remained several weeks in a wretched condition, 
robbed of everything except the rags which covered them, 
and herded in the prison yard, exposed to storms and cold. 
Finally they were paroled ; but before starting for New Or- 
leans they were compelled to draw lots to decide who should 
remain and be shot in reprisal for the execution of some 
guerrillas by General McNeil in Missouri. The men so se- 
lected were Charles R. AVills of Randolph, and Edward Spear 


of Braintree. They were finally released by order of Jefferson 
Davis, and Wills returned to his regiment, but Spear died 
before reaching the Union lines. Wm. H. Brown and Dennis 
Kean, who had joined the regiment at New Orleans, and who 
were recognized at Yicksburg as Confederate deserters, were 
also retained, and were shot March 7, 1863. Four men, 
James S. Hartwell and O. N. Parker of company K, and 
David E. French and Ephraim Webster of company E, died 
in the Vicksburg prison, between the 5th and 11th of No- 
vember. The remainder, four officers and 122 men, were sent 
to Algiers, and thence to Parole Camp at Ship Island, where 
they remained till February, 1863, when they were ex- 
changed and rejoined the regiment, then at Camp Stevens, 
near Thibodeaux, La. 

There was great excitement in the camp of the Eighth 
in the afternoon of September 4th, when Captain Clark ar- 
rived with the train which had been fired into at Boutte Sta- 
tion, and the bloody evidences of the skirmish. General But- 
ler ordered Colonel Thomas, with the portion of the regiment 
remaining at Algiers, to start early next morning to the sup- 
port of Captain Hall by train, while the Twenty-first Indiana 
was directed to proceed by boat to Boutte Station, where 
the two regiments were to unite and go on to Bayou des Al- 
lemands. Colonel Thomas accordingly started next morn- 
ing with 400 men and a section of Nim's (Second Mas- 
sachusetts) Battery ; but when half way to Boutte Station, 
the locomotive and several cars were thrown from the track 
by running over a cow. One man was killed and a number 
injured by the accident, four of whom died of their injuries.' 
Two cars were utterly -wrecked, and it was three o'clock in 
the afternoon before the locomotive was replaced upon the 
track. In the meantime. Colonel Thomas had learned, 

Killed— AloDzo Silver, company A. Died of injuries— Sergeant J. E. 
Thayer and Geo. N. Poor, company E ; Sanford Dewey, company F ; and 
Joseph Leary, company K. 


through a negro, that the outpost at Bayou des AUemands 
had surrendered, and had also discovered that the track and 
bridges were destroyed for several miles between him and 
Boutte Station. He accordingly returned to Algiers, in order 
to take boat for Boutte Station. As he was about embark- 
ing, the Twenty-first Indiana retiirned, having also learned of 
the surrender of Captain Hall ; and the attempt to rescue 
the latter was abandoned. The Indiana regiment brought to 
Algiers with them five severely wounded men of the Eighth, 
who had been left at Boutte Station by the Confederates. 
One of these, E. H. Boseblade, of company K, had six gun- 
shot wounds, and a sabre-cut in his shoulder, received fi'om a 
Texan as he was trying to escape. Another man. Corporal 
Geo. W. Hill, of the same company, received five shots in the 
legs and hips. 

The next day Waller and his Texans came to serious grief. 
They had moved from Bayou des AUemands to the west bank 
of the Mississippi, and gone down, by a road along the shore, 
between the river and the swamps which cover so much of 
the face of that country, to a point near St. Charles, about 
twenty miles above Algiers. Their presence at this point be- 
ing reported to General Butler, a force of several regiments, 
with artillery, was sent up from Carrollton by boat, in two 
bodies, one of which landed above and the other below Wal- 
ler's camp. Thus trapped, the only resource for the Texans 
was to abandon their horses and baggage and scatter into the 
swamp. Eight of them were killed and wounded, and over 
forty captured ; and the expedition returned, bringing 300 
horses, found saddled and belly-deep in the swamp, two Con- 
federate flags, and a quantity of arms and stores taken from 
the Confederate camp. Thereafter Colonel Waller ceased to 
be heard of as a disturbing element in that region. 

A shocking sequel of the affair at Bayou des AUemands 
must be here related. Among the men who surrendered on 
the 4th of September, were seven Germans who had enlisted 


in New Orleans. Their looks and speech betrayed them, and 
when their comrades were sent to New Iberia, they were held 
for trial as deserters. Seven weeks afterwards, General Weit- 
zel, in an expedition into the La Foiirche district, found at 
La Fourche Crossing a quantity of papers thrown away by 
the enemy in their retreat from Bayou des AUemands; — and 
among them the records of the trial by court martial and sen- 
tence of these seven Germans. That they had ever been in 
the Confederate service was not proved ; but their names 
were found in the Confederate conscription lists, and in spite 
of all their protestations of innocence, they were condemned 
to death. The sentence was carried into execution on the 23d 
of October. The details of their murder were obtained by 
Colonel Thomas about the same time, from some prisoners 
taken by the Union fleet at Brashear City, who were sent to 
him for safe keejJing. Some of these were participants in the 
proceeding, and when sternly questioned by Thomas, related 
how the Germans were compelled to dig the trench which 
formed their grave, and were then ranged along its bank, 
where a firing party detailed from a Louisiana regiment shot 
them to death.' The men thus murdered were Bernard 
Hurst, Diedrich Bahne, John Leichleider, Michael Leich- 

^ Colonel Homer B. Sprague, of the Thirteenth Connecticut, who was 
stationed subsequently at Bayou clcs AUemands, alludes to this tragic 
affair in his history of that regiment. He says : "The desolate spot has a 
mournful interest. Overgrown with weeds, it is yet easily recognizable 
beside some trees, nearly abre-ist with the earthworks on the right side as 
you go from Algiers. The traveller who has either sentiment or patriotism 
will hardly restrain his tears, when he stands there and listens to the strain 
of the father's anguish, as he shoveled the dirt away, to find the moulder- 
ing remains of his handsome and noble boy. Will not the great Republic 
some day rear a monument to mark the last lesting-place of the seven mar- 
tyrs, who died for her at Bayou des AUemands, in the summer of 1862?" 
Commenting on this, Captain Geo. H. Carpenter says in his history of the 
Eighth : " The ' handsome and noble boy ' to whom the writer refers was 
an only son, scarcely nineteen years old, whose aged father with much re- 
luctance allowed him to enlist in order that he might escape Confederate 
conscription, and not be forced to fight against a government to which both 
father and son were loyal. Few narratives can be more pathetic than this." 


leider, Michael Mosman, Frank Paul, and Gustave C. Becker 
— all members of company E. The transaction aroused in- 
tense indignation throughout the whole department, and 
General Butler was j^reparing to make it the subject of a 
court of inquiry, when he was superseded by General Banks, 
and this military murder went unpunished. 

After the occupation of Bayou des Allemands by the en- 
emy. General Butler discovered, what he ought to have 
known before, that it was altogether too exposed a position, 
and the outpost was withdrawn to Company Canal, ten 
miles out from Algiers. To this point the railroad was 
kept open without trouble, and many Confederate prisoners 
were taken, while endeavoring to escape through the lines. 
Contrabands continued to pour in till the number in camp 
to whom the quartermaster of the Eighth issued rations at 
Algiers, was reported at 5,000. 

In September, Captain Godfrey Weitzel, a young officer 
of U. S. Engineers, a West Point graduate of the class of 
1855, who had been chief of engineers on General Butler's 
staff, and had exhibited remarkable capacity for responsible 
command, was appointed a brigadier general of volunteers, 
and assigned to the command of what was called the Reserve 
Brigade, then at Carrollton.' To General Weitzel was as- 
signed the command of the first formidable expedition sent 
out from New Orleans for the permanent occupation of any 
considerable portion of Louisiana beyond the immediate vi- 
ciility of that city. In this expedition the Eighth Vermont 
co-operated with Weitzel's brigade, and thus first came under 
the orders of an officer, who afterwards became a favorite 
commander with them. The objects of the expedition were 
to disperse General Taylor's forces stationed at Donaldson- 
ville and Thibodeaux ; to occupy the La Fourche district, in 
order to cut off the enemy's supplies of cattle from Texas ; 

' Comprising the Eighth New Hampshire, Twelfth and TLirteenth 
Connecticut, and Seventy-fifth New Yorlc. 


and to open tlie New Orleans and Opelousas railroad so that 
loyal planters might have an opportunity to send their 
sugar and cotton to the New Orleans market. These ob- 
jects accomplished, the expedition was to proceed into the 
region of the Bayou Teche, and, perhaps, if circumstances 
should favor, thence make an incursion into Texas. It was 
arranged that General Weitzel, with the main body, should 
go up the river to Donaldson ville by boat, dislodge the en- 
emy there, and then proceed by the country roads down the 
Bayou La Fourche, while Colonel Thomas with the Eighth 
Vermont and a regiment of colored troops which General 
Butler had recently organized, should move out from Algiers 
along the railroad, dislodge the enemy at Bayou des AUe- 
mands, and advance to La Fourche Crossing. The two 
columns, uniting there, were to proceed to Brashear City, 
the western terminus of the railroad, on Berwick Bay. A 
fleet of four gunboats was meanwhile to pass up the bay to 
Brashear and cut off the retreat of the enemy. On the 24th 
Weitzel landed at Donaldsonville with 3,000 infantry, two 
batteries and a battalion of cavalry, marched down the 
Bayou La Fourche, and on the 26th met and defeated the 
enemy, under General Mouton, at Labadieville, eight miles 
above Thibodeaux. Mouton had four regiments, two bat- 
teries, and two companies of cavalry, numbering in all about 
1,800 men. Weitzel took 208 prisoners and a 12-pound 
howitzer, and Mouton retreated across Berwick Bay, at the 
same time directing four regiments of Louisiana militia, 
which, under a Colonel Yick, had been holding Des AUe- 
mands and other points on the railroad, to fall back, in 
order to escape capture, and join him. 

On the 24th, the First Regiment Louisiana Native 
Guards, 1,500 strong, Colonel Stafford, reported to Colonel 
Thomas. This was the first regiment of colored troops actu- 
ally armed in Louisiana, though General Phelps had organ- 
ized and tried to arm a colored regiment two months before. 


The first actual service of colored troops in the field thus 
took place iinder the command of a Vermonter. On the 
25th, the two regiments began their march from Algiers. 
As Thomas's orders were to put the road in repair as he 
proceeded, the progress of the column v»^as necessarily slow. 
A heavy growth of the long grass of the region had covered 
the rails Avith a matted mass which blocked the wheels of 
the construction train. This was pulled up by hand with im- 
mense toil. Bent rails were straightened and relaid, missing 
sleepers replaced, many culverts rebuilt and fifteen miles of 
telegraph line reconstructed. It took three days of hard 
work as well as marching to reach Bayou des AUemands. 
As a thousand Louisiana militia had been at that point for 
some time, Thomas expected a fight for its possession, lie 
mounted two field pieces on a platform car, formed his regi- 
ments, made the colored troops a speech, in which he joined 
moral and physical incitements to action by telling them that 
they had now a chance to avenge the wrongs of their race, 
and informing them that the man who flinched would be 
pistoUed on the spot. They responded with a cheer, and at 
the word the two regiments went forward side by side ; but 
found no enemy. Yick had spiked his artillery and departed 
the night before, after firing the station and burning behind 
him the long bridge over the bayou. Thomas and his men 
spent two days in rebuilding the bridge, with timber brought 
by train from Algiers, and then pushed forward to La Fourche, 
where lie arrived on the first of November.' At La Fourche 
Crossing, Thomas rested a daj^, and then continued his march 
along the railroad track to Brashear City, repairing the road 

' " The command pulled the luxuriant grass from over twenty miles of 
track, built eighteen culverts from ten to twenty feet in length ; rebuilt 
what was estimated as four miles of track ; rebuilt a bridge four hundred 
and seventy-five feet long ; drove the enemy from the road, and captured 
seven cannon, all in one week."— Colonel Thomas's Report. 

" I cannot too much commend the energy of Colonel Thomas, with his 
regiment, the Eighth Vermont, who have in six days opened 53 miles of 


as he advanced. At Bajou Boeuf, the railroad bridge, 675 
feet in length, had been bnrned ; but in five days a new one 
was finished, the timber for which was in large part cut by 
the Vermonters in the adjacent woods. While here one of 
the sentinels, George Hutchins, of company E, fired on a 
Union officer who refused to obey his order to halt and give 
the countersign, wounding the latter in the shoulder. Hutch- 
ins was promoted sergeant for his resolute discharge of his 
duty. Among other incidents of this time was the explosion 
of an ammunition train near La Fourche Crossing, November 
7th, by which Luther Peabody of company T> was killed, and 
Second Lieutenant Carter H. Nason of company F was se- 
verely injured. The bridge completed, troops and train pro- 
ceeded, and arrived at Brashear City on the 8th of Decem- 
ber, having in two weeks repaired and re-opened eighty miles 
of railroad track, and re-established railway and telegraphic 
communication from Algiers to Berwick Bay. 

No enemy was found at Brashear City, as the gunboats 
under Captain Buchanan had been delayed by a storm and 
arrived in Berwick Bay too late to prevent the escape of Gen- 
neral Mouton, who crossed the bay with his command two 
days before and retreated to the line of the Bayou Teche. 
The Eighth remained at Brashear City more than a month, 
doing picket duty along the bay and bayou and running the 
railroad, Captain H. E. Foster being appointed superintend- 
ent of motive power. 

During this time several important changes of field and 
line officers took place. Lieut. Colonel Brown, who had been in 
charge of the New Orleans Delta and absent from the regi- 
ment since May, resigned December 23d. The promotions 
of Major Charles Dillingham to the vacancy ; of Captain 

road, built nine culverts, rebuilt a bridge (burned by the enemy) 435 feet 
long, besides pulling up the rank grass from the track, which entirely 
impeded the locomotives all the way. In this work they were assisted by 
Colonel Stafford's regiment, Native Guards (colored)." — General Butler's 
Report, Nov. 2. 


Grout, of compan J A, to be major ; of First Lieutenant Mc- 
Farland, to be captain ; of Second Lieutenant Hutchinson, to 
be first lieutenant, and of Corporal H. K. Cooper, to be sec- 
ond lieutenant, of company A, followed. On the 18tli of No- 
vember Lieutenant Adoniram J. Howard, acting quartermas- 
ter in the absence of Quartermaster Smith, who had been 
detailed by General Weitzel as brigade commissary on his 
staff, died, and Lieutenant Squire E. Howard was appointed 
acting quartermaster. 

On the 16th of December came a sudden change in the 
command of the Department of the Gulf, attributed to the in- 
fluence of the French Government, or of the French Minister 
at Washington, representing the wishes of the French resi- 
dents of New Orleans who were not pleased with General 
Butler's methods. By an order of President Lincoln, the 
substance of which General Butler first learned from his spies 
in the Confederate camps. General Butler Avas on that date 
superseded by General Banks. The retirement of General 
Butler Avas a matter of sincere regret to the men of the 
Eighth ; for the regiment had always stood high in his re- 
gard and he in theirs ; and they took their share of the Avords 
of praise and friendship in his fareAvell order.' 

' "You have deserved well of your country. Without a murmur you 
sustained an encampment on a sand-bar so desolate that banishment to it 
has been the most dreaded punishment inflicted on your bitterest enemies. 

* * * At your occupation — order, law and quiet sprang to this city, 
filled with the bravos of all nations. * * * you have preserved your 
ranks fuller than those of any other battalions of the same length of service. 

* * * You have met double numbers of the enemy and defeated him in 
the open field. I commend you to your commander. You are worthy his 
love." — General Butler's Farewell Order. 

"No better men than the Eighth Vermont as a body ever entered the 
service of the United States. * * * j remember the high encomiums 
given to the regiment by General Weitzel, and the regiment never had any- 
thing else for its behavior in any position in which it was placed I would 
speak of its officers by name, but there is no need of specifying the officers, 
when all did their duty so nobly and well." — B. F. Butler to Geo. N. Car- 
penter, Boston, Nov. 16th. 1885. 


General Banks assumed command under orders to give 
his first attention to opening the Mississippi, and next to 
send an expedition up the Eed river, to open an outlet for 
the sugar and cotton of Northern Louisiana, and to form a 
base of operations against Texas. Before these objects were 
accomplished, however, some active operations took place in 
the region of the Teche, in which the Eighth took part. At 
the opening of the year 1863, the regiment was in camp at 
Brashear City, and its morning report showed an aggi'egate 
of 728, with 629 officers and men on duty, and 66 sick. In 
the reorganization of the 40,000 troops of the Department of 
the Gulf, under General Banks, announced December 31, 
1862, the Eighth Vermont is classed as an independent com- 
mand. General Weitzel was holding the La Fourche district, 
with about 3,500 men, his headquarters being at Camp Ste- 
vens, near Thibodeaux. Thirteen miles west of Berwick Bay, 
at a point where the firm ground between Grand Lake and 
Vermilion Bay is reduced to a strip a mile and a half wide, 
divided lengthwise by the deep and narrow Bayou Teche, 
General Mouton was in camp with 1,500 men. He had thrown 
up an earthwork on the Bisland estate and breastworks 
across the neck, armed with ten 24-pounders, and was fur- 
ther protected by the steamer Cotton. This was a large Mis- 
sissippi steamer, named after its owner, John L. Cotton, 
which had been converted into a floating fort, protected with 
cotton bales and a casing of railroad iron, and heavily armed. 
She was commanded by a resolute man, and had stoutly re- 
sisted the entrance of the Union gunboats into Berwick Bay 
two months before. Driven out of the Bay at that time, she 
had backed up into the Teche — being too long to turn in the 
bayou — to the position above described. Here she remained, 
a constant terror to the Union forces, till about the first of 
January, having learned that her armament had been in- 
creased, and that Mouton was about to attempt some ofi'en- 
sive operations with her aid, General Weitzel decided to at- 


tempt her destruction or capture. For tliis purpose his com- 
mand was increased by two regiments, and with some 4,000 
men, including the Eighth Vermont, and three field batteries, 
and assisted by the gunboat fleet under Commander Buchan- 
an, he started for the Teche on the 13th of January, The 
action which followed exhibited the peculiar combination of 
land and naval warfare, possible in a region full of narrow 
navigable water courses. The infantry and artillery were 
ferried across Berwick Bay, and marched up the right or 
southwestern side of Bayou Teche, preceded by the four gun- 
boats, which passed up the channel to the enemy's position. 
Here the bayou was obstructed by a small steamer filled with 
brick and sunk across the channel. Beyond this, bows on, 
was the Cotton, flanked with field batteries, guarded by rifle 
pits lined with sharpshooters on each side of the bayou, and 
further protected by torpedoes planted in the bed of the chan- 

Weitzel's force bivouacked on the night of the 13th a 
little below the enemy's position. Next morning the Eighth 
Vermont was taken across the bayou by an attending steamer, 
and, while the gunboats and batteries engaged the Cotton, 
pushed forward and drove the enemy from the rifle-pits 
on the east side of the stream. At the same time two de- 
tachments of sharpshooters attacked the Cotton. Her two 
pilots and a number of her crew were killed, and her captain. 
Fuller, had an arm broken ; but he took the wheel himself, 
turning it with his feet, and backed his boat out of range. 
In this action Commander Buchanan was killed by a rifle 
bullet. During the night Mouton decided to retreat, and the 
Cotton, crippled by loss of her captain and many gunners, 
was set on fire and burned. The object of the expedition be- 
ing thus accomplished, General "Weitzel returned, taking with 
him about 50 prisoners, almost all of whom were captured by 
the Eighth Vermont. 

To describe more in detail the part taken by the Eighth 


the regiment bivouacked, with the rest of the expedition, on 
the west bank of the Teche, during the night of the 13th. 
Next morning, before starting forward, General Weitzel rode 
in front of the regiment and read to the men a resohition of 
thanks for their services, adopted by the Legishxture of Ver- 
mont, a copy of which had been received by him. He added 
that the time had come to prove themselves worthy of the 
confidence thus reposed in them. The cheers of the men 
gave a hearty response. Sixty good shots were then detailed 
as sharpshooters to pick off the gunners of the Cotton, from a 
much larger number who volunteered for the service, and were 
placed under command of Captain Duttou of company H. 
The regiment then went on board the gunboat Diana, which 
moved up the bayou. The sound of the cannonading in front, 
where the gunboat Calhoun had engaged the Cotton, soon be- 
came heavy ; and, impatient of the slow progress of the boat. 
Colonel Thomas landed the regiment on the east bank — leav- 
ing Dutton and the sharpshooters to go on by boat— and 
started for the scene of action, three miles away. They 
went at double-quick, by a road running along the shore 
of the bayou, hurried forward by messages received from the 
gunboats along the way, to the effect that the Calhoun, the 
flagship of the fleet, was aground in front ; that Commander 
Buchanan had been killed ; that the guns of the Calhoun had 
been silenced by the fire from the rifle-pits ; and that she was 
in great danger of capture. Arriving on the spot, the regi- 
ment was formed in line of battle, hidden in part from the 
rifle-pits by rising ground and a group of buildings surround- 
ing a large sugar house. The order, "forward," had just 
been given, when Dutton and his sharpshooters, who had been 
landed from the Diana, came running up, with guns at trail, 
and joined the line. With cheers, echoed by the fleet, the regi- 
ment now dashed at the rifle-pits. The Confederates, of the 
Eighteenth Louisiana, who occupied the pits, intent upon 
their attack on the Calhoun, paid no attention to their rear, 


till the Eighth was close upon them, when they threw down 
their guus, and took to the swamp through a field of cane, 
close by. They were not quick enough, however, to prevent 
the capture of a lieutenant and 41 men (three of whom were 
wounded) by the Eighth, in the rifle-pits. The bodies of 
several Confederates, killed, lay behind the breastwork, and 
nearly 200 muskets, thrown down by theLouisianians in their 
flight, were gathered on the ground by the Vermonters. 

The charge of the Eighth, combined with a similar move- 
ment made by the Seventy-fifth New York on the opposite 
bank, relieved the Calhoun from danger, and her antagonist, 
the Cotton, was glad to retire. She backed slowly up the 
bayou, to the protection of the redoubt on the west bank. 
From the captured rifle-pits, the Eighth pushed on in line of 
battle, Dutton's sharpshooters in advance as skirmishers on 
the left, and company A, Lieutenant McFarland, on the right, 
till they were confronted by the breastworks crossing the 
neck. These were undefended, the troops in them having re- 
tired by a floating bridge to the other side of the bayou, and 
the regiment halted, while Captain Dutton and Adjutant 
Barstow went to the bank of the bayou, to reconnoitre the 
other side. They found that Weitzel's brigade had not made 
a corresponding advance on the west side ; and the appear- 
ance of some mounted Confederates on the opposite bank in- 
dicated the near presence of the enem3^ This was further 
evidenced by the whizzing of shells from two rifled pieces, 
which now opened from the earthworks, upon Thomas's line. 
He accordingly withdrew his regiment out of range. His po- 
sition, as the night fell, seemed far from secure. An unford- 
able channel separated him from the main body. By the 
bridges in front of him, protected by the enemy's guns, a 
heavy force might be thrown upon him from the Confeder- 
ate main body. The night was dark and rainy, and the wind 
blew cold from the north. Thomas built a long line of camp 
fires beyond his picket line, which Mouton, as it was intended 


he should, took to indicate the presence of at least a brigade ; 
and he not only refrained from attacking Thomas, as it was 
afterwards learned he had planned to do, but prepared for im- 
mediate retreat. The Cotton was scuttled and set on lire ; 
and about midnight she came drifting down the bayou, 
wrapped in flames, burned to the water's edge, and sank. 
Her destruction removed one cause of apprehension for 
Thomas ; but there was no sleep and little rest for the officers 
and men, and all were glad when morning brought the day- 
light and an order from General Weitzel to fall back to the 
gunboats, and embark for Brashear City, as the object of 
the expedition had been accomplished. The regiment accord- 
ingly withdrew to the gunboats, a mile below, firing the barns 
filled with corn and hay on their way. A squadron of Con- 
federate cavalry followed them ; but the gunboat bearing the 
Eighth, which brought up the rear of the fleet, easily checked 
pursuit by the use of her guns. 

The action of the Eighth in this affair has honorable 
mention in various reports and histories. General Weitzel 
said of it, in his report : " The Eighth Vermont, Colonel 
Thomas, for the first time in action as a regiment, reflected 
the highest credit upon itself by the splendid manner in which 
they cleared the enemy's rifle-pits on the east bank and after- 
wards pursued them. This regiment took 41 prisoners, three 
wounded, and killed four of the enemy. This regiment lost 
none, because it flanked and surprised the enemy complete- 
ly." A correspondent of the New York Times, with the Fif- 
teenth New York, said : " But for this sudden and gallant 
assistance from the Eighth Vermont, there can be little doubt 
that the Calhoun would have been lost." General Weitzel 
mentions Lieutenant Fred E. Smith, chief commissary on 
his staff, as distinguishing himself by coolness, bravery and 
promptness in conveying orders. Colonel Thomas, in his 
report, commends Major L. M. Grout, Adjutant Barstow, 
Captain Dutton and Lieutenant McFarland, for distin- 


guisliecl conduct. Sergeant S. E. Howard, company H, of 
Dutton's party, was subsequently promoted to a lieutenantcy 
for gallantry in landing from tbe Diana in a small boat, and 
taking a message to Colonel Thomas througli a sliower of 

The entire loss of Weitzel's command was a lieutenant 
and four men killed, and 27 men wounded, almost all of the 
Seventy-fifth New York. He reported the enemy's loss on 
shore and on the Cotton as fully treble his own ; but his es- 
timate is not borne out by the statements of casualties on 
the other side. 

The regiment returned, after this expedition, to Camp 
Stevens, where it enjoyed a quiet rest for several weeks. 
During its stay there the following promotions were made : 
George O. Ford, of company K, to be second lieutenant ; Ad- 
jutant J. L. Barstow to be captain of company K ; John M. 
Pike, of compan}' G, to be second lieutenant ; Second Lieut- 
enant John B. Mead, of company G, to be first lieutenant. 
The last two were soon after further promoted, Mead to be. 
captain, and Pike first lieutenant, of that company. 

About this time, the Eighth was formally attached to 
Weitzel's Brigade, which was composed from that time on of 
the Eighth Vermont, Twelfth Connecticut, and Seventy-fifth, 
One Hundred and Fourteenth and One Hundred and Six- 
tieth New York,' and formed the second brigade of the First 
Division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, comprising the 
troops of the Department of the Gulf. 

During the mouth of Februar}-, in the movements of 
troops to guard against rumored oflensive operations on the 
part of the enemy, the Eighth was moved from Camp Stev- 
ens to Brashear City, and thence back to Camp Stevens 
again. On the 17th of this month 120 of the men who were 

The Eighth Vermont, Twelfth Connecticut and One Hundred and 
Sixtieth New York thenceforward served together until the close of the 


captured at Bayou Des Allemands, having been exchanged, 
returned to duty. Lieut. Colonel Dillingham, who had been 
(m a military commission in New Orleans for four months, 
also returned to the regiment at this time. 

The month of March was occupied on each side with 
preparations for active operations in West Louisiana, a region 
called by the Confederate general Sibley "by far the richest 
in the Confederacy." General E. Kirby Smith had been sent 
thither from Richmond and placed in command of the dis- 
trict west of the Mississippi, with his headquarters at Alex- 
andria, La., and the Confederate forces in that quarter were 
heavily reinforced. The fortifications across the neck at Bis- 
land were strengthened and armed with guns taken from the 
wreck of the Cotton, and from the United States gunboat 
Diana, which, having been sent up the Teche to recon- 
noitre one day, was attacked by Taylor's infantry and a field 
battery, and captured. General Taylor had been reinforced 
by a brigade of mounted Texans, and he had 4,000 men or 
more with which to hold this line. On the other side, General 
Banks was preparing a powerful expedition to clear the 
Confederate forces out of the region of the Teche and of the 
portion of Louisiana between that and the Bed Biver. 
Weitzel's brigade was to form part of the expedition, and 
was accordingly concentrated at Brashear City. In 
this concentration the Eighth moved from Bayou Boeuf, 
nine miles east of Brashear, where it had been for several 
weeks, to Brashear City, on the 2d of April. On the 8th 
General Banks arrived at Brashear City, and was joined there 
next day by the larger portion of Emory's and Grover's divi- 
sions from Baton Bouge. The latter division at once em- 
barked on transports and was sent up Grand Lake to 
Franklin, above Bisland, in order to intercept the retreat of 
the enemy stationed at that point. On the 9th, 10th and 
11th, Emory's division and Weitzel's brigade, with a siege 
train, were taken across Berwick Bay, and on the 11th, at 


noon, the marcli up the Teche began, Weitzel's brigade lead- 
ing the column, with the Eighth Vermont in advance. Cap- 
tain Dutton with company H, deployed as skirmishers, soon 
struck the enemy's pickets, which retired before them, and at 
night the troops bivouacked in line of battle, a short dis- 
tance from Pattersonville. 


On Sunday, the 12th, the march was resumed, the com- 
mand moving with great caution. Company K, Captain 
Barstow, was deployed as skirmishers and had several skir- 
mishes with the enemy's pickets. At 3 o'clock the fortifica- 
tions at Bisland confronted Weitzel ; and, as the head of his 
column came within range, the enemy's batteries opened 
■with shells, solid shot and grape. Weitzel's batteries replied, 
and from 5 o'clock till dark the artillery firing was continuous 
on both sides. During this time the Eighth supported Bain- 
bridge's battery in an advanced position, and had several men 
■wounded by fragments of shells. The men behaved re- 
markably well, encouraged by the example and words of 
Colonel Thomas, as he rode slowly along the line, saying : 
*' Steady, men ! Stand firm ! Old Vermont is looking at you ! '" 
At dusk Weitzel withdrew out of range of the enemy's guns, 
and the brigade bivouacked, in two lines, on the left of Em- 
ory's division. Next morning the artillery fire was resumed, 
the Eighth Vermont still supporting Bainbridge's battery, 
which was advanced within rifle-range of the Confederate 

' " But two or three officers remained on their horses. Among them, 
very conspicuously sat, perfectly upright and still, Colonel Thomas of the 
Eighth Vermont. His regiment was at the extreme right, and supported 
' A ' battery, where the shot fell the thickest. Not a single man ran, or 
showed any disposition to do so. Twice during the heavy cannonading. 
General Weitzel sent Lieutenant Sfnith of his staff to warn the colonel that 
he was exposing himself unduly, and begging him to dismount. The re- 
ply of the great-hearted officer was : Colonel Thomas sends his compli- 
ments to General Weitzel, and begs to inform him that he did not come 
down here to get off his horse for any d — d rebels." — Correspondence Bos- 
ton Traveller, 


works. The regiment lay all day in some plantation ditches, 
which afforded shelter from the volleys of musket balls which 
trimmed the bushes above the prostrate ranks. Several times 
orders came to prepare to charge, but the men were soon or- 
dered down again. About three o'clock in the afternoon the 
"rebel yell," heard now for the first time by most of the Ver- 
monters present, came shrilly from the timber on the left, as 
the enemy was trying to turn the flank of General Weitzel's 
brigade. The movement was, however, repulsed by two of 
the New York regiments. During the day the gunboat Diana, 
which the enemy was using as a floating fort, was disabled by 
a 32-pound shot, which raked her from stem to stern ; and 
the Union lines were advanced to within 400 yards of the 
works, on both sides of the bayou, preparatory to a general 
assault, ordered for next morning at daylight. But that eve- 
ning General Taylor learned that Grover had landed above 
him with 4,000 men and was moving to Franklin in his rear ; 
and at midnight he hastily abandoned his line at Bisland, 
and fell back to New Iberia, slipping, in the hours before day- 
light, through Franklin, beyond which place Grover had un- 
fortunately halted.' When Weitzel's skirmishers advanced 
at daylight of the 14th, they found the works in front de- 
serted, and without waiting for breakfast, the brigade was 
ordered forward in pursuit. The Eighth Vermont again led, 
with company H thrown forward as skirmishers. The en- 
emy's rear guard, of cavalry, with a section of artillery, was 
soon overtaken, and driven through Franklin, where Grover 
joined Banks that day; and the Eighth bivouacked that 
night, with the brigade, a mile beyond Franklin. The results 
of this operation against Bisland, though resulting in the cap- 
ture of several hundred prisoners and eleven pieces of artil- 
lery, and the destruction of the Diana, which was blown up 

' " It was a wonderful chance. Grover had stopped just short of the 
prize. Thirty minutes would have given him the wood and the bridge, 
closing the trap on my force." — General Richard Taylor. 


by the Confederates, fell far short of what might reasonably 
have been expected. Had Grover occupied Franklin as 
planned, Taylor's force must have been captured entire. The 
loss of the regiment at Bislaud was one man, Adolphus 
Blanchard, company G, killed, and seven wounded.' 

Taylor fell back from New Iberia to Opelousas, burning 
the bridges behind him ; and Banks followed. For six days 
the regiment was now on the march to the north, often lead- 
ing the advance, and averaging about fifteen miles a day. On 
the night of the 15th it bivouacked half way between Frank- 
lin and New Iberia ; the next night two miles beyond Iberia; 
the next five miles from Vermilion Bayou ; the next near Ver- 
milion Bridge ; the next just beyond Carrion Crow Bayou. 
The next day, Monday, the 20th, it passed through Opelou- 
sas, lately the seat of the Confederate State Government, and 
encamped in the outskirts of the city, with headquar- 
ters in the yard of the Mansion House. It was the longest 
march the Eighth had taken, and the men asserted, with 
some facts to back them, that they had fewer sick and fewer 
stragglers on the march than any regiment in the column. 

General Banks claimed as results of his expedition the 
capture of 2,000 prisoners, 1,000 stand of small arms and 20 
heavy guns; the destruction of foundries at Franklin and 
New Iberia, and the salt works below New Iberia ; the cap- 
ture of two steamers, and the destruction of three gunboats 
and ten or twelve transports. General Taylor admits the loss 
of three gunboats and four smaller steamers, and of five siege 
guns, abandoned at Bisland ; but claims that his entire force 
was under 3,000, and that it was certainly not all captured. 
As usual, however, he greatly underrates his force, which his 
superior officer states at 5,000 effective men.'^ 

' Banks's loss was 40 killed and 184 wounded, of which numbers 13 
killed and 58 wounded were in Weitzel's brigade. 

'■^ " General Taylor had done everything possible with the resources at 
his command. His effective force in the district was not over 5,000." — Re- 
port of Lieut. General E. Kirby Smith. 


May 4th, the day before the regiment left Opelousas, 
Captain Samuel G. P. Craig, of company G, died of disease. 
He was a young lawyer (of KandoTph) in the prime of life, a 
thorough disciplinarian, and a superior officer. He was 
buried in the cemetery near the old church in Opelousas. 
About this time also the sad news was received of the death 
of Captain John S. Clark (of Lunenberg), company K, a good 
soldier and true gentleman, who died in the hospital Hotel 
Dieu at New Orleans, on the 20th of March, and was buried 
in Girod Cemetery in that city. These deaths were felt to 
be a great loss, which found expression in some resolutions 
of respect and sorrow, adopted by the line officers. The reg- 
iment spent two weeks at Opelousas, in a pleasant camp, 
where fresh provisions were plenty, and then started, on the 
5th of May, with the army, for the Red River, 

Starting at 5 p. m., it marched all that night and the 
next day ; bivouacked in line of battle on the night of the 6tli, 
and at night of the 7tli led the brigade into Alexandria. It 
had marched thirty-three miles that hot and dusty day, and 
made the ninety miles from Opelousas in less than three 
days, almost overtaking Dwight's brigade, which left Ope- 
lousas the day before them and had six miles less to 
march. The men were thoroughly exhausted on reaching 
Alexandria, and glad to drop to rest, in a held, without sup- 
per. Next morning the brigade marched through the city of 
Alexandria, and went into camp in a pleasant grove on the 
bank of the Red River, Admiral Porter's gunboat fleet, after 
silencing and capturing the e^nemy's batteries at Grand Gulf 
on the Mississippi, had passed into the Red River, and ar- 
rived at Alexandria the day before, and lay in the stream just 
below the camp ; while Kirby Smith and Taylor, having evac- 
uated Fort De Russy, had retreated up the river to Nachito- 
ches and Shreveport. Alexandria was found almost deserted, 
the citizens having fled from their homes on the approach of 
the Union forces. After two days' rest, Weitzel's brigade 


was sent after Taylor, and marclied up the river some tliirty- 
five miles ; but Taylor h^l too long a start to be overtaken, 
and the brigade returned to Alexandria. 

General Grant was now conducting the wonderful cam- 
paign in the rear of Yicksburg which established his military 
reputation. He wanted Bank^ to join him and assist in the 
capture of Yicksburg. Banks at first declined to go, for want 
of transportation ; but concluded, later, that he could do so ; 
and on the 13th of May put his army in motion down the 
Red River, aiming for Simmesport, on the Atchefalaya near 
its junction with the Mississippi, where he hoped to obtain 
transports to take him to Grand Gulf. Before leaving Simmes- 
port, however, he had concluded, in view of the danger of 
leaving New Orleans at the mere}- of the strong Confederate 
force at Port Hudson, that it would be best for him first to 
reduce the latter place. Obtaining Grant's concurrence, he 
accordingly moved from Simmesport down the Mississippi to 
a point opposite Bayou Sara, fifteen miles above Port Hud- 
sou, where he crossed, and moved against Port Hudson from 
the north, while Generals Augur and T. W. Sherman moved 
up from Baton Rouge with 3,500 men and invested the strong- 
hold from the south. In the movement to Port Hudson, the 
Eighth left Alexandria on the 17th with Weitzel's brigade, 
which covered the rear of Banks's army, and marched by easy 
stages to Simmesport. Here the sick men and the superflu- 
ous baggage were placed on boats to be taken to New Orleans ; 
and the brigade took transports for Bayou Sara, the brigade 
trains being sent by land with the main body of Banks's force, 
which marched thither down the right bank of the Missis- 
sippi. The Eighth landed at Bayou Sara at midnight of 
May 25th, and two hours later started toward Port Hudson. 
The brigade marched five miles down the river that night, 
and joined Grover's division next day. Grover and D wight, 
the latter commanding Emory's division, Emory being sick, 
had already driven the enemy within his main line of works ; 


and on the 26tli the investment of Port Hudson was com- 


This stronghold was not an easy nut to crack. Rest- 
ing their control of the Mississippi on Vicksburg and Port 
Hudson, the Confederates had for a year been fortifying the 
latter point, by the labor of slaves, and had constructed a 
series of works of remarkable strength. Along the bluff, 80 
feet above the river, which here turns at a right angle, were 
planted batteries armed with siege guns ; and a line of re- 
doubts and bastioned forts, connected by earthworks, encir- 
cled the town, extending from the mouth of Thompson's 
Creek, above the town, to Ross's Landing, a mile and a half 
south of the village. Two months previous there had been 
over 20,000 men within the works ;. but the garrison had been 
reduced to reinforce Pemberton at Yicksburg, and at the time 
of Banks's investment it numbered about 8,000, under com- 
mand of Major General Frank Gardner. General Gardner 
had fifty pieces of artillery, twenty of which were siege guns. 
General Banks's army numbered in round numbers 30,000.' 
Within the lines the ground permitted prompt transfers of 
troops from point to point, while without, a broken surface, 
seamed with ravines and heavily wooded in portions, offered 
strong natural obstacles to the besieging force. In the in- 
vestment of the place. General Weitzel was assigned to the 
command of the division which manned the Union lines 
north and northeast of Port Hudson. His own brigade was 
nearly opposite the main angle by which the enemy's works 
turned to the south, and two other brigades and two colored 
regiments extended his line to the right, to Thompson's creek. 

' General Banks states that his losses in the operations on the Teche 
and from sickness occasioned by the long and exhausting marches to and 
from the Red River, had reduced his effective force to less than 13,000; the 
official tables give him over double that number. 



Colonel Thomas succeeded Weitzel in the command of 
the brigade and Lieut. Colonel Dillingham commanded the 
Eighth. As soon as his troops were in position General 
Banks ordered a general assault, not doubting that his force 

'<^ XThorrmss^'Brig. 

Siege of Port Hudson, May and June, 1863. 

"was sufficient to overwhelm the garrison. His orders, issued 
on the night of the 26th, directed a general cannonade from 
the guns of the fleet and his field batteries, under cover of 
which a simultaneous assault was to be made on all parts of 


the enemy's works. For this, Weitzel's division was formed 

before daylight, iu the woods and along some broken hills, 

in column of brigades, Van Zandt's brigade constituting the 

first line, Paine's the second, and Thomas's brigade the third. 

The division moved to the attack soon after 
May 27, 1863. . ^ . . , 

sunrise. Its experience m the next hour was 

thus summarized by an eye-witness : ' " Over hillocks and 
ravines tangled with forests, through roaring, shrieking, whist- 
ling storms of great guns and musketry, amidst the crash of 
gigantic beeches and magnolias cut asunder by shot, Weit- 
zel's division drove in the enemy's sharpshooters, slackened 
its speed under the friction of obstacle after obstacle ; 
passed in driblets through a vast abatis of felled trees, and 
spent itself in reaching the base of the earthworks." In the 
operation thus described, the first line was met by a fire of 
artillery and infantry so deadly that it halted in serious 
confusion. The second line closed up on the first and also 
halted. Then came the turn of Thomas. His brigade 
moved forward till it came up with the first and second lines, 
when it halted, under fire, for a few moments, which were 
spent by Thomas in exhorting the officers and men of the 
other two brigades to follow his line when it should take tlie 
front. Then, led by Thomas, on foot — the field oflicers having 
all been directed to leave their horses in the rear— his brigade 
passed through and over the men in front, and, closely fol- 
lowed by the latter, charged at double quick. In this move- 
ment the Eighth Vermont, after passing through the lines of 
the Ninety-first New York and another regiment, charged 
upon a line of the enemy, posted in some uncompleted en- 
trenchments, drove them out of these and through a slash- 
ing of felled timber, and followed them through a hollow 
and up a wooded hillside, beyond the crest of which was a 
plateau of open ground extending to the enemy's main line 
of works, perhaps twenty rods away. The opposing fire of 
^Captaia J. "W. Deforest, Twelfth Connecticut.— Harper's Magazine. 


grape and musketry was fearful, and the Union batteries, 
tardy in taking position, were making no effective reply. 
Thomas accordingly halted his line and its supports, below 
the crest, and reported the situation to General Weitzel, who 
ordered him to make no further advance, as the other div- 
isions were accomplishing nothing in the way of effective co- 
operation; but to hold his ground, and await further orders. 
He accordingly directed his men to throw up some hasty 
breastworks in the edge of the timber, and the position thus 
gained by him was maintained to the close of the siege. The 
further fighting on the part of his brigade this day, consisted 
in picking off every Confederate who showed himself above 
the opposing works. The shooting on the enemy's side was 
equally sharp, and probably more fatal.' 

Colonel Thomas never doubted that if the assaults from 
the centre and left had corresponded with Weitzel's in point 
of time, he might have gone into Port Hudson that morning. 
But as Augur and Sherman did not attack till the afternoon, 
Gardner was able to move his troops where they were most 
needed, and to meet each of the successive attacks with an 
ample force of defenders.^ At nightfall the attempt to carry 
the place by assault was abandoned, and Banks withdrew his 
lines to the cover of the woods and hills, with a loss of 2,000 
men, and without securing any important advantage, except 
the advanced position gained by Thomas. 

' Two of General WeJtzel's staff, Captains Hubbard and Wrotnoski, 
sent to Thomas with orders this day, were killed, at an exposed spot in 
the line, which came to be known as "Deadman's Corner" from the num- 
ber of men who fell there. 

'•"' Speaking of the fight on the 27th a Confederate officer said that 
when the attack was made so vigorously from Weitzel's front, they all 
thought their game was up. But observing no similar movement along 
other parts of our line, they moved up eleven pieces of artillery and two 
large battalions of their best troops so that they were able to offer effectual 
resistance in that quarter." — Port Hudson letter, in New Orleans Era. 

" The attack on the right commenced with vigor early in the morning. 
Had the movement upon the left been executed at the same time, the as- 
sault might have been successful." — General Banks's report. 


Of Colonel Thomas's conduct this day, one of his line 
oflScers, Captain Barstow, said: "No words can do justice to 
it. He virtually commanded the division from the time we 
came up with the first two lines. Being on foot, and having 
but a single staff officer, the physical labor performed by him 
was tremendous, and his bearing was most heroic and gal- 
lant, as it always was when he had any fighting to do." The 
Eighth sustained this day its first serious loss in battle, hav- 
ing 88 men killed and wounded. Of this number 51 fell in 
the first charge. Colonel Thomas received a slight wound 
on his left temple. Captain H. E. Foster, company C, and 
Lieutenant James Welch, company G, were wounded.' 

On the 28th, there was an armistice of three hours to col- 
lect the wounded and bury the dead. This over. General 
Banks, fully undeceived in regard to the strength of the gar- 
rison, prepared for a protracted siege. This formed in some 

1 Killed, May 27th, 1863— Company A, Jos. O. Kimball and Zolvey Sar- 
geant ; company C, David N. George; company D, Henry Butterfield, Jr.; 
company E, Geo. E. Wedgewood ; company F, Edward Ducharme and 
Peter Henchey ; company G, George W. Battles and Dennis Ryan ; com- 
pany H, Charles Bartlett and W. F. Bowker. The rank and file wounded 
at Port Hudson, May 27th, were: Company A, Charles W. Boynton, 
John B. Chayer, Wm. W. Kinsley, Moses Larue and George Remick; 
company B, Sergeant H. H. Holt, Corporal Henry M, Foss, Carlos J. 
Barnes, Daniel J. Covey, Samuel Guthrie, Wm. Horn, Thos. W. Page, 
Walter W. Parsons, John R. Robinson ; company C, Newell H. H. Adams, 
Chas. Boodry, Chas. Collins, Joseph Colcott, Corporal W. H. Jones, 
Nathan P. Jay, Andrew J. Keith, Robt. C. Morse, Chas. A. Newman, 
Henry K. Page, Harvey G. Perigo and H. W. Prisby ; company D, First 
Sergeant Nathaniel Robie, Asa S. Emery, Charles G. Emery, Mason B. 
Jenkins, Norbit Lahas and Edmond L. Wheeler; company E, Ira H-'lmes, 
Geo. Maxham, Julius McMurphy, Chas. Smith and Francis Y. Snow; 
company F, Chas. A. McClusky and Thos. H. Henchy ; company G, Chas. 
W. Battles, Paschal Bissonette, Daniel W. Eaton and Lyman B. Evans; 
company H, Sergeant Wm. H. Smith, Samuel S. Childs, James Frasco- ' 
via, Amos L. Jenkins, George R. Harrington and Cyrus M. White; 
company I, Henry G. Baldwin and Geo. J. Bishop ; company K, Charles 
Drown, Deming D. Fairbanks, John A. Ryder, Wm. H. Silsby and 
Henry Woodruff. Hollis W. Prisby died of his wounds August 23d and 
Henry Woodruff, July 4th, and several men were transferred to the Vet- 
eran Reserve Corps, in consequence of disability from their wounds. 


respects the most trying period in the history of the regi- 
ment. Some of the features of the life of the troops at this 
time, are vividly presented in a letter written by Quarter- 
master Fred E. Smith, under date of June 27th : 

" Our officers and men lie quietly down, day and night, 
week after week, with hundreds of rifle-balls whistling within 
a few feet, often a few inches, of their heads. And when 
from necessit}^ they must leave their posts, they have to 
crawl behind logs, and through ditches and ravines to get to 
the Avoods in the rear. Perhaps on the way they must cross 
a knoll or a ridge of laud, when — whist ! whist ! whiz-z-z ! go 
a half dozen bullets from sharpshooters, who are constantly 
watching every such exposed place. 

The men of this command have been confined for more 
than a mouth to the ditches in which they live, sleep, eat and 
fight. In front are embankments of their own building, on 
the top of which are sand-bags and logs, forming loopholes 
through which they watch the enemy, and shoot at the sight 
of anything that moves. These are in many places within 
twenty rods of the earthworks be bind which lie the enemy, 
keeping as close watch of us as we do of them. A continued 
roar of musketry is kept up on both sides while the bullets 
clip the leaves and branches overhead almost constantly. 
Along a large part of the line the men are obliged to ap- 
proach the trenches crawling on their hands and knees. 
Here, too, they sleep, if they sleep at all, in such an inclined 
position that morning finds them several feet lower down 
the bank than when they lay down. If the night be ever so 
rainy, all they can do is to lie or stand and take it. When 
the ground gets very slippery, so that they slide too much, 
they must drive some stakes to brace their feet against. 
Many of the men have dug holes in the bank large enough 
to admit their whole bodies, so that they literally live in 
caves of the earth. The cooking has to be done half or 
three-quarters of a mile in the rear, out of range of the guns, 
and the food is carried in by cooks and negroes. You can 
easily imagine the men are of necessity very dirty and 
•ragged, for their clothes soon get terribly filthy, or wear out. 
So much is their appearance altered that you would recog- 
nize but few of the men or officers of the old Eighth. Oc- 
casionally, a few get out, stretch their legs and get washed, 
and those who are fortunate enough to possess a change of 
shirt, put on a clean one. But as a rule the poor boys are 
unshaven, their hair is long and frequently uncombed for a 


week or more ; and if close inspection were made, it might 
surprise their wives or mothers to find vermin living on their 
heads and bodies. Their food is, of course, very plain and 
very poor. The water they get is very bad even for this 
country, and the best they are able to procure would be 
thought unfit for cattle in Vermont. This is the actual state 
of things, only a deep shade too faintly pictured." 

This sort of life lasted for forty-four days, varied on the 
early morning of the lltli of June, by an abortive attack. 
This was made between midnight and daylight, and was in- 
tended to be a surprise ; but the enemy was found on the 
alert; and the skirmishers, who at some parts of the line 
reached the opposing abatis, were recalled. During this 
period four men of the Eighth were killed or mortally 
wounded in the trenches,' and several others less severely 

As Banks's troops were diminishing rapidly under ex- 
posure and fatigue, and there was great dissatisfaction, 
amounting in some cases almost to mutiny, among the nine 
months regiments, of which there were twenty in his com- 
mand whose terms had expired or were expiring, he decided, 
during the second week in June, upon a second and more 
careful attempt to carry Port Hudson by general assault. 
Before it was made, he, on the 13th of June, summoned 
General Gardner to surrender, saying that he had become 
aware, through some intercepted despatches, of the number 
and condition of his (Gardner's) command ; that the pro- 
longed resistance of the garrison had fully vindicated their 
courage and endurance ; but that it was folly to hold out 
longer in view of the great superiority of the investing army, 
and that he demanded the surrender of the place in the in- 
terest of humanity and to prevent unnecessary eflusion of 
blood. Gardner replied that his duty did not permit him to 

' Killed— George Renfrew, company D, June 3d ; Porter J. Whitney, 
company I, June 11th ; Eben Pond, company K, June 12th ; Con Car- 
mody, company G, died July 23d of wounds received May 29th. 



entertain any such proposition. General Banks at once 
issued orders for the assault on the morrow. 

This was prepared with especial care. The main attack 
was to be made on the right, by Weitzel's and Paiue's div- 
isions, while Augur made a demonstration on the left centre, 
and Dwight was to endeavor to force an entrance through a 
ravine on the left. The point of attack was the portion of 
the enemy's works opposite the advanced position secured 
on the 27th of May. From this crest a piece of almost level 
open ground extended right up to the Confederate earth- 
works, and the endeavor to carry these, requiring the utmost 
efforts of the most resolute men, was committed to Weitzel's 
brigade. Colonel Thomas was now seriously ill in hospital ; 
and the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel E. 
B. Smith of the One Hundred and Fourteenth New York. 
Lieut. Colonel Dillingham commanded the Eighth Vermont. 
Captain Barstow had succeeded Captain Hubbard, killed in 
the former assault, as assistant adjutant general on the 
brigade staff, and distinguished himself throughout the day. 
The preparations for the attack, which was to be made in 
the morning twilight, were elaborate. Two regiments, the 
Seventy-iil'th New York and Twelfth Connecticut, were to 
form as skirmishers in front. The Ninety-first New York, 
each man carrying a five-pound hand-grenade in one hand 
and his musket in the other, were to follow close behind the 
skirmishers and throw their grenades over the parapets to 
scatter the Confederate troops in the trenches. The Twenty- 
fourth Connecticut were to come next, carrying bags filled 
with cotton, with which to fill the ditch and enable the 
storming column to scale the parapets. This column con- 
sisted of the Eighth Vermont, One Hundred and Fourteenth 
New York and One Hundred and Sixtieth New York. If 
successful in effecting an entrance they were to be supported 
by Kimball's and Morgan's brigades. 

There was no sleep for the troops so selected, that 


niglit. At two o'clock in the morning coffee and hard bread 
were served to them ; and before dawn the lines were formed 
and moved into position. The Twelfth Connecticut lost its 
way in the darkness, and its place was taken by the Ninety- 
first New York." The regiments moved out in the dusk, 
made darker by a morning fog, through a sunken way, which 
had been cut from the edge of the timber to within one hun- 
dred and fifty yards of the enemy's breastworks, and deploy- 
ing on open ground beyond, pushed straight for the hostile 
works. Arduous as the undertaking was expected to be, it 
proved even harder in reality. The surface, which had ap- 
peared unbroken to the eye, was found to be seamed with 
ditches filled with brush, which formed serious obstacles, 
though they were too shallow to aiford protection from the 
vollej's which burst hotly from the opposing lines. A few 
of the skirmishers picked their way to the works only -to fall 
or be driven back by the murderous fire from the parapets. 
The hand-grenade experiment was an entire failure, the few 
grenades that were hurled over the breastworks being for the 
most part thrown back by the enemy, before they exploded. 
Most of the grenadiers halted before they reached the works 
and fell back on the men with cotton bags, who in turn fal- 
tered and then halted in huddled groups. 

Though the measures taken to prepare the way for them 
had all thus failed, the storming column was now ordered 
forward. The Eighth Vermont led the way. Marching by 
the flank up a ravine through which the enemy had an en- 
filading fire, the regiment deployed into line on the brow of 
the hill and moving out over and past the fragmentary lines 
of the regiments that had preceded them, made a resolute 
effort to charge across the open. In the next five minutes 
sixty Vermonters dropped dead or wounded under the 
storm of lead and iron which swept the ground in front. The 
regiment halted and fell back into the cover of a ravine. 
' Correspondence of the New Yoik Herald. 


Here the line was re-formed and attempted a second advance 
to the left of the hill ; but this too failed. A few men suc- 
ceeded in reaching the ditch. The rest fell back and sought 
such shelter as they could. The other regiments had a sim- 
ilar experience. Colonel Smith, commanding the brigade, 
fell mortally wounded with a ball through his spine, and 
Lieut. Colonel Van Petteu of the One Hundred and Six- 
tieth New York succeeded to the command. Two or three 
brigades, advanced at other points, were almost as roughly 
handled. Nowhere was any entrance to the works effected ; 
and the effort was abandoned. The assault cost General 
Banks another 2,000 men, killed, wounded and missing. 
It ended at ten o'clock in the forenoon ; but no recall was 
possible till nightfall for large numbers of men, who had 
reached spots from which they could neither advance nor re- 
treat without fatal exposure. Parties which attempted to re- 
move some of the wounded, were fired upon, and wounded 
men were slain upon the stretchers. All the rest of the day, 
in gullies and behind trees, hundreds of wounded and un- 
wounded men lay in the hot sun, the former suffering untold 
agonies from thirst and the festering of their wounds. The 
Eighth Vermont as a body lay where a slight depression of 
the ground afforded partial cover. Only after dark was it 
possible to move, when the regiment resumed its former 
place in the besieging lines, and its officers could count the 
cost of the day. The regiment took 350 men over the crest, 
and lost 99 killed and wounded. The saddest loss to the 
regiment was that of Lieutenant Stephen F. Spaulding. 
When Adjutant Barstow was transferred to the brigade staff 
Lieutenant Spaulding was appointed acting adjutant. He 
performed the duties of the office with characteristic cool- 
ness and courage, encouraging the men by voice and ex- 
ample. At the first halt of the line beyond the ravine, he 
snatched a musket from a wounded man and stepping for- 
ward was in the act of discharging it when he fell forward 


with a minie ball through his brain, and died without a 
word/ Among the wounded were Captain Hall and First 
Lieutenant Sargent of company E, and First Lieutenant Pike 
of company G. 

Of the rank and file 16 were killed and 78 wounded. ' 

' Stephen F. Spaulding was a native of Montpelier. He was a gradu- 
ate of the University of Vermont and was a law student in New York city 
and not yet of age, when Fort Sumter was fired on. Seven days later he 
was on his way to Washington as a private in the Seventh New York regi- 
ment. Returning to New York after the three months' service of that 
regiment ended, he resumed his studies for a time ; but soon decided to 
re-enlist, and in a Vermont regiment. He was active in raising company 
B, of the Eighth Vermont, and was its first lieutenant. At Algiers, when 
Captain Child was detached as provost marshal, he commanded the com- 
pany and was recognized as one of the most spirited, intelligent and capa- 
ble officers in the line. He had a presentiment that he should not survive 
the assault, and remarked the night before to his friend Captain Barstow : 
"I shall not spend another night with you." His body was recovered and 
was sent to Vermont for final interment. 

"^ Killed, June 14th, 1863— Company B, Horace D. Bancroft, Geo. W. 
Brown, Jason C. Farewell; company C, Loren F. Kelley and Wm. T. 
Pettee; company D, Henry J. Thompson; company E, Ira Barrett and Wm. 
JoDCS; company G, Joseph Becotte, Henry Coles, Wm. Johnson, George 
Kendall and Solon Parker; company H, Henry W. Crocker: company I, 
Sergeant Edward R. Pratt and Henry C. Blashfield. 

Wounded — Company A, Jephaniah Carpenter ; company B, Sergeant 
John Bisbee, Sergeant William H. Spencer, Sergeant George Collier, Cor- 
poral Charles P. Church, Corporal Myron P. Warren, Corporal William H. 
Henry, Orville R. Brooks, George W. Barnes, Charles S. Barrett, Edward 
Bellville, Joseph Baraby, Edward L. Carpenter, John R. Dawson, John 
Fox, William S. Lee, James Smith, John B. Tucker, Charles Wheeler and 
Alfred "Wells; company C, Sergeant J. A. Ripley, Corporal George C. 
Goodell, Joseph S. Bailey, Denslow Barber, Edward Boodry, Henry A. 
Crane, Joseph Colcott, Charles E. Dunton, ChaTles E. Hardy, George W. 
Hadlock, James Hubbard, George H. Haselton, William H. Jones, A. 
Montrett, Jacob L. Pettee, Harvey G. Perigo, Cornelius H. Putnam, 
Martin Rosebush, Lawrence Swinger, Levi W. Skinner, Ransom W. 
Williams and John M. Waldron; company D, Henry E. Ring, Lor- 
enzo Robbins and Edward White; company E, Lewis Amel, Aleck 
Brandt, Jason Drury, Thomas F. Ferrin, Charles E. L. Hills, James W. 
Howard and Julius McMurphy; company F, Corporal Ezra E. Janes, 
Charles A. McClusky and Noel Reneaud ; company G, John Davis, Fabien 
Dupuis, Corporal Dudley C. Woodbury, Francis S. Hull, George R. Howe, 
Louis Hoezle, Langdon Kemp, Oscar Kemp and John Sullivan ; company 


Colonel Thomas lay in the hospital that Sunday morn- 
ing, till finding the suspense unendurable he ordered his 
horse, and, against the orders of the surgeons, mounted and 
rode to the front. Learning there that the assault had failed, 
he reluctantly returned to the hospital. 

On the 15tli General Banks issued an order, saying : 
" We are at all points on the threshold of the enemy's for- 
tifications — one more advance and they are ours," and call- 
ing for a forlorn hope of a thousand men to lead another 
assault, with promises of promotion to the oflicers and med- 
als of honor to the privates who should volunteer for this 
desperate duty. The troops did not welcome this prop- 
osition. One officer and five men of the Eighth offered to 
join the storming party; but less than 300 names in all 
were enrolled for it ; and the project was abandoned.' 

Twenty-four days of active siege operations followed 
the assault of the 14th of June. Parallels and saps were 
advanced, a mine excavated under the enemy's strong- 

H, Sergeant George M. AUard, Samuel S. Childs, Albert O. Evans and 
George R. Harrington ; company I, Oscar B. Hescock, Willard W. Saw- 
yer and Austin H. Ward; company K, Sergeant Perry Porter, Jr., Cor- 
poral John Petrie, Paschal P. Shores, Frank Ward and John E. Woodsom. 

The following men died of their wounds : 

Lorenzo Robbins, July 3d ; Edward White, June 35tli ; Jason Drury, 
September 25th; James W. Howard, June 24th ; Charles E. L, Hills, July 
3d; Louis Hoezle, June 28th ; William S. Lee, July 3d ; Jacob L. Pettee, 
July 6th ; Martin Rosebush, July 5th; Langdon Kemp, July 15th. 

'"I noticed that the regiments which had suffered most severely 
hitherto sent up very few names for the ' roll of honor.' For instance the 

Eighth , one of the most gallant organizations I ever knew, but which 

had already lost two-thirds of its numbers in our unhappy assaults, did 
not furnish a single officer or soldier." — Captain J. W. De Forest, 12th 

If the Eighth Vermont was the regiment thus referred to, as it doubt- 
less was, there being no other Eighth in the brigade to which Captain De 
Forest belonged, he was slightly in error. Captain John L. Barstow, Ser- 
geant George G. Hutchins of company E ; Corporal A. N. Flint, L. P, 
Luce and G. W. Coles of company G, and George H. Ormsby of company 
H, sent in their names for the forlorn hope. 


-est fort, known as " the Citadel," and new batteries mounted. 
The artillery fire was constant ; the sharpshooting on each 
side, along the works, which in many places were within 
pistol range of each other, was incessant ; night skirmishes 
were frequent. Little rest was permitted to the besiegers 
and none to the enemy. The only variety from these opera- 
tions, for the Eighth, during this period, was an expedition 
directed against the enemy's cavalry, which were operating 
in the rear. Colonel Thomas commanded the brigade on 
this expedition, though scarcely able to sit upon his horse. 
The brigade marched two days without discovering the 
enemy, and then returned. The privations and exposures of 
this period greatly swelled the sick list. July 1st, it num- 
bered 289, the largest number sick at any time in the his- 
tory of the regiment. At this date the morning report 
showed an aggregate of 732 — only 435 of whom were report- 
ed for duty, and some of those were not fairly fit for service. 

The following promotions were made during this time : 
Captain H. F. Dutton of company H to be major, vice L. M. 
Orout, resigned ; First Lieutenant A. B. Franklin to be cap- 
tain, and Second Lieutenant S. E. Howard to be first lieu- 
tenant of company H ; Second Lieutenant F. D, Butterfield 
to be first lieutenant, and Orderly Sergeant John Bisbee to 
be second lieutenant of company B ; Second Lieutenant 
George O. Ford to be first lieutenant of company K. July 
12th, H. M. Pollard was commissioned first lieutenant of 
company I. 

The fourth of July was celebrated by a general salute 
from the Union batteries, the First and Second Vermont Bat- 
teries being among the number, with shotted guns. Three 
days later came more joyful occasion for salutes and shout- 
ing, in the news that Vicksburg had fallen. The cause of 
the cheering which echoed all along the Union lines, was 
soon learned by the garrison of Port Hudson, and that night 
General Gardner's proposition to surrender was received by 


a flag of truce, which was received and conducted to Gen- 
eral Augur's headquarters by Lieutenant Chase of the Sec- 
ond Vermont Battery. The surrender was probably only 
hastened three or four days by the fall of Vicksburg ; for the 
garrison were living on mule meat and rats, and were well 
nigh exhausted. Colonel Thomas was the officer of the 
trenches, on the last day of the siege, and superintended in 
person the placing of thirty barrels of powder in a mine un- 
der the principal M^ork in front. Wliile there he could hear 
the conversation of the Confederates over his head, their 
talk indicating that they were aware that the fort was mined, 
and moreover that they would welcome any end of the siege. 

General Weitzel, in his report, commends the Eighth 
Vermont for its courage and endurance, during the siege ; 
and adds : "I should not do justice to my convictions of 
duty did I fail to mention Colonel Thomas for his coolness 
and gallantry at all times." 

On the 9th, the Union troops marched unopposed into 
Port Hudson, and 6000 men of the garrison grounded their 
arms, in addition to 500 sick men surrendered in hospital. 
The stars and stripes were flung to the breeze from the 
highest bluff, and Port Hudson was restored to the Union, 
and the Mississippi ran free from Cairo to the Gulf. The 
same day Weitzel's brigade, with portions of Grover's and 
Dwight's divisions, was sent down the river, by transports, to 
Donaldsonville, to put a stop to the operations of General 
Taylor, who during the siege of Port Hudson had reoccupied 
the Teche, captured Brashear City with its garrison and 
stores and occupied the La Fourche district, almost un- 
opposed. The men of the Eighth were glad to get away 
from Port Hiidson. They had been through the entire siege, 
with no protection from the storms and the scalding sun ex- 
cept such as they could gain from the shade of the breast- 
works and from burrowing in the ground. Their days had 
been filled with hard and exposed duty. Their rest at night 


had been uncertain. The fighting had been hard and un- 
fruitful of results. Besiegers and besieged were alike glad 
that the siege was over.' 

"Weitzel's division reached Donaldson ville July 10th. 
The following day there was a sharp engagement with a 
Confederate force of 1,500 cavalry under General Green, 
supported by a large body of infantry, which drove in 
Grover's advance, consisting of Dudley's brigade, and cap- 
tured 150 prisoners. During this action the Eighth Ver- 
mont was held in reserve. Next day Taylor retreated to 
Berwick Bay, ran the engines and cars on the railroad into 
the bay, and retired up the Teche. The Eighth then 
marched with Weitzel's division to Thibodeaux and went 
into camp there July 31st. It had now its first period of 
rest since April 9th. The regiment was reduced in num- 
bers by deaths, discharges and furloughs, till some com- 
panies had not more than a dozen privates present for duty, 
under command of a sergeant. Colonel Thomas went to 
Vermont to recruit his health. Some of the best officers 
were absent on sick leave. 

At this time, July 12th, "Father" Blake received his 
commission as chaplain of the Third Louisiana (colored) 
regiment and took leave of the Eighth, much to the regret 
of officers and men.'' 

' The following men were killed at dates subsequent to the last assault 
.June 17th, Felix Marchand of company C ; June 20th, Samuel O. Horn 
of company B. 

''Rev. Isaac Blake was a preacher, of the " Second Advent" persua- 
sion, in northeastern Vermont, and had reached nearly three-score, when 
the war broke out. Having preached the duty of sustaining the govern- 
ment by arms, he enforced his teachings by his example, and at the age of 
58 years enlisted, at Derby, in company B, of the Eighth Vermont. He was 
not much of a shooter, but he could play the fife, so he went to the war as 
a fifer. His age and earnestness and faith distinguished him, not less 
than his music, among the men of the regiment. Before the regiment left 
the State, it was paraded, one cold December Sunday, at Brattleboro, to 
receive some orders. No chaplain had been as yet appointed. Colonel 
Thomas remarked to some of the captains that he wished they had a chap- 


On the 15tli of August a detail consisting of Captain C. 
B. Leacli of company D, Lieutenant George N. Carpenter of 
company C, Lieutenant A. K. Cooper of company A, Ser- 
geant W. H. Spencer of company C, Sergeant Charles R. 
Wills of company G, Corporal F. R. Carpenter of company 
r, Corporal H. B. Brown of company H, Corporal L, H. 
Parker and Corporal Ezra S. Pierce of company K, were 
sent to Vermont on recruiting service, and proceeded to 
Brattleboro. Lieutenant Carpenter, however, did not serve 
on this duty, but was ordered to Norfolk and Alexandria, 
Va., in charge of the recruits and conscripts for Vermont 
regiments in the Army of the Potomac. He returned to his 
regiment in December. A second detail, consisting of Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Dillingham, Lieutenant and Acting Quarter- 
master S. E. Howard, Sergeant Ezra H. Brown of company 
A, Sergeant George Collier of company B, Sergeant John A. 
Ripley of company C, Sergeant Edward F. Gould of com- 
pany D, Sergeant George G. Hutchins of company E, Ser- 
geant William T. Church of company F, Sergeant Joseph 
N. Dunton of company H, Sergeant Francis E. Warren of 

lain to offer a prayer. Captain Child thereupon said he had a minister in 
his company, and Fifer Blake was sent for, and was asked by the colonel to 
make a prayer, with the injunction to " make it short, but to put in all the 
powder he had a mind to." Father Blake prayed and few who heard it 
ever forgot the prayer. When in subsequent months and years the regi- 
ment was without a chaplain Father Blake not only conducted religious ser- 
vices, but officiated in care of the sick and other duties commonly per- 
formed by chaplains, drawing of course only a private's pay. After his 
appointment as chaplain of the Third Louisiana U. S. C. T., he served 
eight months, and then resigned, in consequence of impaired health, 
and returned to Vermont, where he lived to be upwards of 80 years old. 
He was a man of marked character, and many of his good deeds and 
speeches are treasured by his comrades. It is related of him that after his 
appointment as chaplain his regiment was imder fire one day from a Con- 
federate battery to which the Union guns made no reply, till Father Blake 
went to the captain of a battery and told him he thought this was one of 
the times when it was " more blessed to give than to receive ! " The bat- 
terymen took the hint, and with a cheer for the old chaplain, soon 
silenced the opposing artillery. 


company I, and Sergeant N. C. Cheney of company K, 
went to Burlington for the same purpose. In February, 1864, 
these two parties returned to the regiment with 304 re- 
cruits. During the month of August the regiment led a com- 
paratively uneventful life at Thibodeaux ; and, with no service 
more severe than drill and picket duty, the men gained rest 
and strength. 

On the 1st of September the Eighth joined the ill-con- 
ducted expedition under General Franklin against Sabine 
Pass on the coast of Texas. General Franklin made no use 
of his land forces, and denied Weitzel's request to be per- 
mitted to land and attack the works with the Eighth and 
two other regiments of his brigade. The gunboats were re- 
pulsed with serious loss, and General Franklin returned in- 
gloriously to New Orleans. The Eighth did not leave the 
transport Cahawba during the expedition. It disembarked 
at Algiers on the 11th and moved thence by rail to Brashear 
City, on the 15th, whence it moved to Tarleton Plantation. 

In October, in order to mask his long contemjjlated 
movement against Texas, General Banks pushed a heavy 
force under General C. C. Washburn up to Opelousas. 
Weitzel's brigade formed a part of this force ; and the Eighth, 
having the advance of the brigade, marched up the Bayou 
Teche once more, over familiar roads, via Franklin, New 
Iberia, Yermillionville and Opelousas to Carrion Crow 
Bayou, driving before them Taylor's cavalry and taking sev- 
eral prisoners. November 1st, Washburn, having been or- . 
dered to withdraw, commenced his retreat to the Teche, 
and the Eighth moved with the brigade, November 2d, to 
Yermillion Bayou. Taylor and Green had a large force of 
infantry and cavalry in front, and lost no chance to surprise 
and cut oflf detached portions of Washburn's command. 
On the 3d they surprised General Burbridge, who was at 
Bayou Bourbeau, three miles south of Opelousas, with 
1,000 men, and captured over half of his brigade. Weitzel's 


division received orders that night to move to Burbridge's 
assistance, and starting at tliree o'clock next morning, the 
Eighth marched 14 miles in three hours, to the scene of 
action, to find that the enemy had retired with 500 prisoners 
and a field-piece. On the 16th the regiment moved from 
Vermillion Bayou to Camp Pratt and New Iberia, where it 
remained for seven weeks, guarding the town and doing 
heavy picket duty, during a time of remarkably cold weather 
for that region, with frequent alternations of frost and mud. 
During the closing months of 1863, many changes took 
place among the field, staff and line officers of the regiment. 
November 30th Quartermaster Fred E. Smith resigned and 
received an honorable discharge. A man of marked busi- 
ness ability, he had been in all respects a model quar- 
termaster. His interest in the regiment was always 
strong and his departure was felt to be a great loss. The 
vacancy was filled by the appointment of Edward Dewey of 
Montpelier as quartermaster. December 12th the resigna- 
tion of Lieut. Colonel Dillingham deprived the regiment of a 
brave and efficient field officer. Major H. F. Dutton was 
thereupon advanced to the vacancy, and Captain Barstow of 
company K was promoted major. During the last half of 
the year the following promotions and appointments took 
place: Lieutenant Geo. N. Carpenter to be captain of 
company C, vice Henry E. Foster resigned ; Lieut. L. M. 
Hutchinson appointed acting adjutant, vice Lieutenant Car- 
penter promoted ; O. E. Ross appointed assistant surgeon 
September 17th; Second Lieutenant W. H. Smith to be 
first lieutenant of company F ; S. W. Shattuck appointed 
adjutant October 20th ; First Lieutenant H. M. Pollard to 
be captain of company I, vice W. W. Lynde resigned ; Sec- 
ond Lieutenant John Bisbee to be first lieutenant of com- 
pany B ; Second Lieutenant Geo. E. Selleck to be first lieu- 
tenant of company I ; First Lieutenant F. D. Butterfield to 
be captain of company B; Commissary Sergeant Lewis 


Child to be first lieutenant of company C ; Second Lieuten- 
ant A. J. Sargent to be first lieutenant of conapany E ; First 
Lieutenant Geo. O. Ford to be captain of company K ; 
Sergeant William H. Spencer to be second lieutenant of 
company B ; Sergeant John A. Ripley to be second lieu- 
tenant of company C ; Sergeant Nathaniel Robie to be sec- 
ond lieutenant of company D, and Sergeant Joseph N. Dun- 
ton to be second lieutenant of company H. 

January 1st, 1864, the regiment was still at New Iberia, 
with about 500 men present for duty and a sick-list of 100. 
The weather continued severe, with continuous rain and fre- 
quent sleet. Under such circumstances the question of re- 
enlisting, under the ofier of the War Department of special 
inducements to re-enlisting regiments, came up for practical 
decision. With this was complicated the question of the 
date of expiration of the term of service, already explained 
in the histor}- of the Seventh regiment. The men generally 
preferred to be mustered out in June and go home, if that 
w^as to be permitted. If on the other hand they must stay 
eight months longer, to fill out the full term of three years, 
they were willing to re-enlist and secure the bounty and 
veteran furlough. The matter was still in suspense, when, 
on the 6th of January, the regiment was ordered to break 
camp and march to I'ranklin, where it remained two 
months. Here Colonel Thomas rejoined the regiment in 
February, in renewed health, and with a body of 304 recruits, 
obtained in Vermont. These were allotted among the com- 
panies and brought the aggregate of the regiment up to 915, 
with 805 reported present for duty. During the colonel's 
absence the matter of the expiration of the term had been 
referred to the War Department at Washington, A\hich de- 
cided, as in the case of the Seventh, that under the enlist- 
ment contracts the men were entitled to discharge June 1st, 
1864. This decision was announced at dress parade by 
Colonel Thomas, who accompanied the news with a speech, 


in which he asked the men to consider that each veteran 
was worth three new recruits to tlie government, and urged 
them to re-enlist, as they would have done if they were to be 
held eight months longer. The response to the proposi- 
tion, however, was not encouraging, and for a time it was 
doubtful whether enough would re-enlist to entitle the regi- 
ment to a veteran furlough. During this time, at the re- 
quest of many of the men. Colonel Thomas again returned to 
Vermont, in order to secure for the re-enlisting men the 
town bounties offered by many towns to new recruits. He 
was successful in securing such bounties for a number of the 
men. Under all the inducements presented 321 men re- 
enlisted, being enough to secure the title and furlough of a 
veteran regiment. The proportion of men re-enlisting was 
pretty uniform throughout the companies, ranging from 22 
in company E to 42 in company K.' The Eighth was the 
second Vermont organization to thus secure the honorable 
title of " Veteran Volunteers " and was complimented in a 
special order by General Emory, for its patriotic example. 

In March the veterans began to make preparation for 
their furlough of thirty days. On the 8th of March the regi- 
ment moved back to Algiers, w'here the re-enlisted men were 
paid and on the 7th of April embarked with the ISinth Con- 
necticut Veteran Volunteers, on the steamer Constitution, to 
which they were escorted by the other troops of the brigade, 
and sailed for New York. Amving there eight days later, 
the regiment reached Montpelier in the evening of July 16th 
and received an enthusiastic welcome. Hon. Charles Eeed 
welcomed them in an appropriate address, and a generous 
banquet was prepared for them at Depot Hall. On the 18th 
they departed to their homes under orders to repoi t at 
Brattleboro, May 19th. Reassembling at that date, they 

' Captain McFarland of company A says that of the seventeen men 
"who originally enlisted under him from Waterville, fourteen re-enlisted. 
Of the other three, one died in the service, one was promoted and one dis- 
charged for disability. 


waited at Brattleboro six days for transportation and then 
were taken to New York. On the way Henry B. Wheeler of 
company F fell from the cars and was left seriously injured 
at Springfield, Mass. At New York the veterans took the 
steamer McClellan for New Orleans, where they arrived 
June 3d. 

After the departure of the re-enlisted veterans the 
rest of the regiment, numbering 560 men, remained in camp 
at Algiers for a month under command of Major Bar- 
stow. Much sickness prevailed among the recruits before 
they became acclimated, and there were heavy details for 
detached service. Under these hindrances, the recruits were 
carefully drilled, especially in target practice, and thorough 
discipline was maintained. 

On the 6th of May Major Barstow was ordered to Tlii- 
bodeaux with his battalion and took command of the post, in 
the absence of Colonel Day of the Ninth New York, command- 
ing. The position was threatened by a body of Confederate 
cavalry that night, and the troops, consisting of 250 men and 
a section of a battery in addition to the Eighth, were dis- 
posed to meet it. Finding them thus on their guard the 
enemy retired without attacking. Companies C, D, F, I and 
H, were detached about this time to guard the railroad to 
Brashear City, all rejoining the regiment on the 29tli of 

On the 24tli of May the original members who had not 
re-enlisted, comprising Major Barstow, Captains Leach and 
Foster, and 168 men, were ordered to proceed to Vermont to 
be mustered out. They left Camp Hubbard, at Thibodeaux, 
on the 5th of June, and went to New Orleans, where, on the 
6th, they met the veterans who had just arrived from Ver- 
mont. After a brief greeting they sailed on the steamer Daniel 
Webster for New York. Their departure took some of the 
best soldiers in the regiment, and the loss of Major Barstow, 
whose condition of health forbade a prolonged stay in that 


climate, was especially felt to be a severe one. They reached 
Brattleboro on the 15th of June and were mustered out June 

The recruits at Camp Hubbard were left for a few days 
under the command of a major of the Twenty-sixth Illinois- 
They joined the regiment a little later and it was sent up the 
Mississippi by transport, to join the Nineteenth Army Corps, 
then lying at Morganzia, after the close of Banks's second 
Eed Kiver campaign. The regiment arrived at Morganzia 
June 11th and the same day was reviewed, with the corps, 
by General Emory, commanding the corps. They found 
here the Second Vermont Battery, now attached to the 
corps. On the 12th the regiment went down the river to 
Waterloo, to disperse some guerrillas but found no enemy 
and returned to Morganzia. On the 19th, 20th and 21st, the 
regiment accompanied the division on an expedition to 
Tunica Bend and Fort Adams, Miss., where the enemy was 
reported to be in force. The Eighth scouted in detachments 
in various directions ; but found no enemy except one man, 
who was firing a bridge, and again returned to Morganzia, 
It remained here two weeks longer. 


General Banks, having lost the confidence of General U. 
S. Grant, who was now commander-in-chief, Avas superseded 
about this time in the command of the Department, and on 
the 19th of June, all were stirred to excitement by the news 
that the corps was ordered to the North to reinforce the 
Army of the Potomac. 

July 2d the Eighth took transports down the river, and 
camped the next day for the last time in Algiers. It re- 
mained here until the 5th, when it embarked on the steam- 
ship St. Mary and sailed to report at Fortress Monroe. 

The voyage to the North was pleasant, and on the 12th 
the St. Mary anchored in Hampton Boads. Early's raid 


against Washington Avas now in progress, and as General 
Grant had directed the Nineteenth Corps to join the Sixth, 
for the protection of the capital, Colonel Thomas found or- 
ders awaiting him, to proceed to Washington with his regi- 
ment without disembarking. Kesumiug her voyage the St. 
Mary arrived at Washington next day, where Colonel Thomas 
reported to Secretary Stanton with the Eighth, as the ad- 
vance of the corps. Early had been repulsed the day be- 
fore ; and, General Emory not having yet arrived. Colonel 
Thomas was ordered to join the Sixth Corps, in the pursuit 
of the enemy, with his regiment and a few other troops of the 
same division which had reached AVashington, making a body 
of about 700 bayonets. The regiment marched through 
Washington and past the White House, cheering President 
Lincoln, who stood in front and lifted his hat to the Ver- 
monters, who never lacked a greeting from him. That night 
they overtook the Sixth Corps at Tenallytown, Md., and the 
next day, with other troops of the Nineteenth Corps which 
had come up, went on to KockviUe and next day to Pooles- 
ville. The marching pulled hard on the men and they were 
glad to rest there a day. On the 16th they marched to the 
Potomac at White's Ford, forded the river and bivouacked 
at Leesburg, Va., after a long and dust}^ march. Here un- 
der orders from General Emory, Colonel Thomas searched 
the houses for concealed arms and arrested every man capa- 
l)le of bearing arms. On the night of the 18th the Eighth 
bivouacked at Snicker's Gap after a tedious march of twenty- 
five miles. Moving on again after a day's rest, the division 
climbed the mountains and at daylight of the 20tli the men 
of the Eighth had their first view of the Shenandoah Valley. 
Eording the Shenandoah they halted near Berryville on the 
pike until evening, when the army counter-marched, re- 
crossed the Shenandoah, swollen by a thunder storm till 
it was barely fordable ; marched along the sandy roads 
through Snicker's Gap, and on all night, and the next day 



back through Leesburg — with only a single halt to make 
coffee, the solid rations having given out — to Goose Creek. 
This forced march of thirty-four miles with its accompani- 
ments of heat, dust, hunger and blistered feet, was one of the 
severest experiences in the history of the regiment. Mov- 
ing on again they re-crossed the Potomac at Chain Bridge 
on the 23d, and encamped on Georgetown heights for two 

On the 26th the brigade marched twenty miles to Hy- 
attstown ; camped without supper ; started before daybreak 
next day and marched another twenty miles to Monocaoy 
Junction and thence through Hai-per's Ferry to Halltown, 
Va. Then, counter-marching, with no time for rest, in the 
flurry caused by McCausland's raid into Maryland, they 
were marched, on half rations, back into Maryland, and to a 
point three miles beyond Frederick City, where they were 
permitted to camp and rest for four days. None who shared 
the toil and hardship of this period ever forgot the month of 
Jul}', 1864, which brought them from Louisiana to Maryland 
and gave them three weeks of the hardest marching they 
ever experienced. 

On the 4tli of August the corps moved back to Hall- 
town, and was there on the 7th, when General Sheridan took 
command of the Army of the Shenandoah. In this army 
the Eighth was part of the Second brigade (McMillan's) of 
the First division (Dwight's) of the Nineteenth Corps, under 
General Emory. 

Moving with the corps, on the 10th, up the valley, the 
first sight of the enemy in the valley was had on the 12th, 
when the skirmishers of the Eighth had a slight encounter 
with the enemy's cavalry near Cedar Creek. On the 13th 
the regiment picketed the corjDS front on the Front Royal 
Pike. In the night of the 15tli the corps i moved to 
Winchester and on the 21st was back at Halltown, while the 
old brigade was fighting at Charlestown. The lines were en- 


trenched at every halt, and the Eighth did its part in dig- 
ging, as well as in marching and skirmishing, during the 
various movements to and fro of Sheridan's army. But the 
old soldiers in its ranks well knew that the time of mancjeu- 
vriug would not last forever, and that the two armies f.icing 
each other from the opposite sides of the Opequon would 
not separate without fighting ; and they iinderstood what it 
meant when, on Sunday, the 18th, an arrival of extra supply 
trains and a removal of the sick to the rear followed a visit 
of General Grant to Sheridan's headquarters. There were 
many grave faces in the ranks that day as the regiment gath- 
ered for a short religious service, read from the prayer book 
by Quartermaster Dewey, the regiment having been without 
a chaplain since Chaplain Williams was mustered out, three 
months before. Anticipation became certainty, in tho af- 
ternoon, when orders came to be ready to move in light 
marching order at two o'clock the next morning, with two 
days' cooked rations and 100 rounds of ammunition to a 
man. At nightfall the men rolled up their little shelter 
tents instead of crawling under them, and slept an uneasy 
sleep upon their arms. 


At two o'clock in the morning all were roused and hard 
bread and coffee were served, and at three o'clock the first 
tvfo brigades of D wight's division, the third being left at 
Halltown, formed in the darkness and took their way to the 
battlefield of the Opequon. Dwight's column followed 
Grover's division, which, after a halt of two hours on the 
Berryville pike to allow the Sixth Corps to pass, followed 
that corps across the Opequon and through the defile be- 
yond, and deployed at 11 a. m. on the right of the Sixth 
Corps and of the pike, for the assault. How steadily Grover 
attacked and how terribly he was repulsed cannot be re- 
lated here. For an hour the sounds of the strife in their 


front came back to the men of Dwight's division over the 
roDing crests which hid the scene of action from view. Then 
came the turn of that division. The First brigade moved 
first over the crest of a hill in front. Then McMillan's 
brigade, of which the Eighth Vermont was a part, was or- 
dered to the right and then forward into a wood, on the 
farther verge of which Grover's men were endeavoring to 
rally. Bearing still to the right, the brigade came out into 
open ground and in full view of the fighting in front, where 
the First brigade was resisting Gordon's advance from the 
woods he had retaken from Grover. McMillan's brigade was 
now wanted in several places at once, and was divided, two 
regiments remaining to support the First brigade, while the 
Eighth Vermont and Twelfth Connecticut were taken to the 
left, where Birge's brigade had made a stout fight and been 
badly shattered and where Molineux's brigade was in danger 
of entire destruction. Cannon shot tore through the trees 
as the regiment advanced, killing and wounding several men, 
but the line moved forward steadily, with company F, Cap- 
tain W. H. Smith, thrown forward as skirmishers, through 
the woods, and out into the open ground, strewn with the 
dead and wounded of both armies. It came at once under 
heavy fire, both of musketry and artillery. Lieut. Colonel 
Dutton here had his arm broken by a ball, and was taken to 
the rear. For a moment the regimental line faltered, but 
became firm at once under Colonel Thomas's shout of 
"Steady, men!" In front, at the base of a descent, lay a 
thin line of men, firing feebly. The Eighth, followed by the 
Twelfth Connecticut, hurried at double-quick to their aid, 
rescuing on the way the colors of the Fourteenth New 
Hampshire, which, with their color-guard, were taken into 
the line of the Eighth. The regiment halted within musket 
range of the woods in front, in which Gordon had halted 
to await the arrival of Breckenridge, There was sharp 
musketry fire from Gordon's line in the edge of the wood, 


perhaps 200 yards in ficnt, and Colonel Thomas ordered the 
regiment to lie down in the long grass. - Bat as the enemjv 
were on higher ground, only partial shelter could be secured^ 
and the bullets of the Confederate marksmen found a numTC 
l;er of victims. The fire was returned by the men of tllol 
Eighth, and doubtless with effect, an ascending range being) 
commonly more effective than a descending one. This posiri 
tion, far in advance of the main body of the Nineteenth! 
Corps, was maintained by the regiment for more than twd"' 
hours, while Crook with the Eighth Corps, was making his 
detour. At three o'clock Crook's lines advanced to the at- 
tack on the enemy's left and were received with a fire from 
the edge of the woods, as continuous and deadly as wds ever? 
delivered. It was described by an eye-witness as " an unin- 
terrupted explosion, without break or tremor." The diversion 
of Gordon's fire from the Eighth to the division, Thoburn's, 
which was advancing nearest them, gave Thomas an oppor- 
tunity to assist the latter, which he was quick to seize. He 
ordered the Eighth Vermont and Twelfth Connecticut to 
charge with the bayonet, and himself led the way. He pre- 
faced his order by a little speech. " Boys," said he,; "tiffany of 
you are in the habit of praying — and I hope yoii all are — 
pray now, and pray quick and hard. Remember Ethan Allen 
and Old Vermont ; and we will drive those fellows to hell, 
where they belong." The Eighth, accompanied > by? tl^^fiConn 
necticut regiment, charged at double-quick, drove the eneiny^ 
from the woods in front, and passed on through the timber 
to the farther edge. This was a very valuable piece Of ser- 
vice ; and it is doubtful if Thoburn's charge woji^d! ha,ye,b^ei|i" 
successful without it.' itiilri/n.'j aemoo 

' "The bayonet charge of the Eighth Vermont regime!at,'*iW^tt4^etf-f 
didly by Colonel Thomas, was undoubtedly one of the best achievements 
on that brilliant field, and proved to be a large factor ib. the d'ecisiv^ 
movement. The regiment was so pushed to the front tbat it becariae a 
pivot on which the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps sWillog lipt to Victory.'*"} 
—Captain F. 11. Buffum, 14th New Hampshire. ' ■''* ^^'"•^■'"' '"'^ ' '"' 

"Thomas's bayonet charge was the iron prow j^^Cr|30^|s QA^me of 


Beyond the woods a second line of the enemy was now 
visible, about 400 yards to the left and front. Wheeling the 
Eighth to face this Thomas opened fire and soon dispersed 
it. But several guns of Braxton's artillery remained on the 
left, and were at first taken by Colonel Thomas to be a bat- 
ter}- of the Sixth Coi^ps. General Upton, who knew better, 
rode forward to Thomas and ordered him to "fire on that 
batter}"," as he wanted to move his brigade in there. 
Thomas declined, saying that he thought it was one of their 
own batteries. Upton threatened Thomas with arrest, if he 
did not obey, but Thomas still declined. The dispute was 
ended by the clearing away of the smoke and disclosure of a 
Confederate flag borne by the infanti-}^ support of the bat- 
ter}- ; and Thomas at once turned the fire of the Eighth upon 
it and cleared the ground for Upton's advance. His lines 
now came up on the left of the Eighth ; and soon Torbert's 
cavalry appeared to the right, charging full upon the enemy's 
left and rear. "No man," says Captain S. E. Howard, 
*' ever saw a more thrilling sight than that cavalry charge." 
Early's lines now broke in utter rout, and the Vermonters 
pressed forward with the rest in the final charge of the three 
corps which swept over the works and through Winchester. 

The details of this battle, as seen from the ranks of the 
Eighth Vermont, are thus graphically described by Herbert 
E. Hill, of company I, who, then a boy of 19 years, was a 
gallant actor in these memorable scenes. 

The line of battle is formed. We march to our posi- 
tion in the fight between nine and ten o'clock. The rebels 
are in the field and woods in front, but we cannot see them 
distinctly. Their cannon fire shell and solid shot. A shell 
comes crashing into our midst, literally throwing one man 
into the air, taking the leg off another, and tearing open the 

war. It gave force to Crook's assault. It relieved him from the •withering 
flank fire. It broke the enemy's main line of battle in front, resulting in 
the swift overthrow of Early's entire army. It was like running a rapier 
into the vitals of the enemy, and holding it there until the Eighth Corps 
came rushing in on our right, the Sixth on our left, and the Nineteenth in 
support."— Herbert E. Hill, 


abdomen of a poor fellow, so tliat his backbone protrudes in 
a shocking manner. It is useless to fire, for we can see only 
smoke. One of our batteries, of six pieces, is stationed a little 
to our left, exposed to a terrible tire from the enemy. Spite- 
ful puffs of smoke are seen constantly over the guns and 
horses, and rebel shells are bursting. The horses rear and 
plunge, and occasionally one falls, or is cut loose by the burst- 
ing shells. The artillery men fiit like spirits from caisson to 
gun, while cannon belch forth their death missiles, then recoil 
ten or fifteen feet. A man drops dead here and there, or 
crawls away wounded and bleeding. This is the Fifth Maine 

We are under fire, but not firing ourselves. Some of the 
men laugh ; possibly one weeps ; the face of another is pale 
as death ; his next neighbor's is flushed ; one man swears a 
fearful oath, while his right-hand man is praying silently ; the 
next is excited, fretful, and crowding. Here and there one is 
calm and cool, as if marching in review before his command- 
er. There is absolute equality for the time being. All are 
on the same plane, so to speak, the rich and poor, the high 
and low, the learned and unlearned. The minie ball and the 
screeching shell make no distinction, but plough their cruel 
furrows until exhausted, or pass on like invisible fiends. 

We move to the right, over a rolling field, then forward 
again under a heavy fire into a sheltering timber. The bul- 
lets spatter against the trees and glance off, and then a sharp 
cry of pain is heard. Shells tear through the tops of the 
trees overhead, severing the limbs, which drop upon the men 
below. On again, through the timber to the opening, and we 
see the line of battle we are to relieve. It is being literally 
cut to pieces by the enemy, who are massed in the woods in 
front. Into this fatal clearing and beyond, the brigades of 
Birge, Moliueux, and Sharpe, of the second division, had gal- 
lantly charged and been driven back with great slaughter. 
Wounded men and fragments of decimated regiments are 
passing back through our line to the rear. The flags of an 
almost annihilated New Hampshire regiment of Birge's bri- 
gade approach, and Colonel Thomas instantly adopts them 
with the quick indorsement of General Dwight, only a few 
feet away with General Emory, who says : " Yes, fall in with 
the Eighth Vermont ; I'll guarantee you will be taken care of 

Now the One Hundred and Sixtieth New York, of our 
brigade, is hastily ordered off to fill a gap elsewhere, while the 
Forty-Seventh Pennsylvania is used in connection with the 
first brigade of our division. 


We can see squads of the enemy crowding out from the 
v/oods toward us. Thin clouds of white smoke rise rapidly 
from the muzzles of Molineux's rifles, as his men valiantly 
continue their desperate struggle. We are needed at once, 
and on the double-quick we rush forward nearly across the 
bare Held, greeted by a fierce wail of musketry from the sec- 
ond woods, while the remnant of Molineux's line we relieve, 
rises from the ground and passes quickly back to the timber 
we have left. The Twelfth Connecticut is soon sent to our 
support and stationed at our right. Our fresh volleys come 
none too soon, but they are heeded, and the enemy's advance 
is checked in our front. A tall man near me receives a bad 
gash in his forehead ; the crimson blood flows down his face 
and bosom. Another has his chin shot away, leaving his 
tongue dangling exposed over his throat. Both must prob- 
ably die ; but life is dear, and with a beseeching, parting 
look, they crawl back to the rear and from my sight forever ; 
but their faces are imprinted in my memory. 

We are in an open field. The enemy are strongly posted 
in the woods only a few rods in front, and nothing between 
them and us but thin Virginia grass. What a change comes 
over the men. No more of that strange, helpless feeling. 
Now every man can fight for himself. All fear is gone ; in 
grim silence the men load their guns while lying on their 
backs, rise quickly to their feet, glance across the gleaming 
barrel, and tire. The first man to die on this spot is Walter 
Pierce, who had tlie strange presentiment of his fate last 
night. A minie bullet strikes his face as he rises to fire for 
the third or fourth time. Not a word escapes his lips as he 
falls lifeless to the earth. 

In front and rear Confederate and Union batteries are 
firing over our heads. .The shells have an awful, unearthly, 
hissing sound, like the terrible rush of escaping steam from a 
boiler, only a thousand times greater. A desolating fire of 
miisketry sweeps across the exposed ground we occupy, the 
bullets sounding like angry hornets, as they cut the air so 
close to the face as to be felt. Men tear a cartridge and ram 
home the ball, and speak to their comrades about home or 
matters of interest a thousand miles awa}^ Now word is 
passed along that Charles Blood is killed. Another is 
wounded, and we wonder avIio will be the next, when Cor- 
poral James Black settles slowly to the ground. And still 
the ugly work goes on. Colonel Thomas sits like a statue 
on his horse, refusing to dismount, encouraging the men 
within sound of his voice. Sergeant Francis E. Warren is at 


my side, and has partly risen to watch the rebel movements, 
when a bullet enters the socket of his eye, and comes out 
near his ear. With a groan he bows his head between his 
knees, and drops at my feet. The next to fall is Edmund 
Fisher, a man past fifty years of age, and never yet absent 
from his post of duty. He rises deliberately, takes careful 
aim, and tires his last shot ; a rebel bullet pierces his right 
hip. He exclaims "I'm killed! I'm killed! My home! my 
home ! " I hastily examine his wound, and find the ball pro- 
truding from the hip bone. With my thumb and finger I 
press the bullet out and show it to him. He is so delighted 
to find his hurt so slight that he draws up his paralyzed limb 
to hobble away. In vain I advise him that to needlessly 
expose himself as a target will be sure death. He rises 
slowly to his feet, takes one anxious step to the rear, I dis- 
tinctly hear a dull thud, as the leaden death messenger en- 
ters his back, and he falls a dead man. Our rifles become so 
hot and foul from constant and rapid use, that we are obliged 
to abandon them and take others from the dead soldiers 
lying within reach. But our ammunition is giving out, and 
Sergeants Henry Downs and Lamb volunteer to cross the 
open field to our rear for more, and soon return with a fresh 
supply ; but none too soon, for the lull in our firing is evi- 
dently taken advantage of, and the rebels swarm out from 
the woods and charge towards us with wild yells. But they 
are quickly driven back by the fierce volleys along our line. 
Company I is losing heavily; four of their men are shot 
dead, and the captain falls and is supposed to be dying. A 
bullet strikes Sergeant Thorn, glances and wounds Corporal 
Eddy, and others are wounded. Three times, after continued 
tiring, our ammunition is exhausted, and Colonel Thomas 
calls for volunteers to go for more cartridges, exposed to a 
raking tire. Downs and Lamb nobly respond. Among those 
who respond to Thomas's call for men to crawl out in front 
and watch the enemy's movements are Sergeant Halliday of 
company B, and Daniel Martin of company I, who after the 
war enlisted in the regular army and died with Custer in his 
last tight in the Plains. 

The First brigade, having repulsed the foe in their own 
front, have moved back to the woods as a reserve, and the 
Eighth Vermont aud Twelfth Connecticut are now alone on 
this advanced line. Upton's troops of the Sixth Corps are 
on our left and rear, with quite an interval between us. It 
is three o'clock. The enemy are pressing out towards us 
from the woods in front. At this moment, some distance to 


our right and rear, great cheering is heard, and we discover 
a body of troops advancing in magnificent array in soHd 
cokimn, with banners flying aloft, and moving rapidly up, 
with intent, as we suppose, to take position on our right as 
reinforcements to our thin line. It is Colonel Thoburn's 
division of Crook's corps, and as the solid column advances, 
the terrible flank fire from the enemy in our front mows 
them down like grain, leaving literally a swath of dead in 
their wake. Colonel Thomas is not idle. The moment the 
enemy's tire is turned away from us, he makes a during move 
on the checker-board of war. He sees an opportvmity to 
hurl two veteran regiments like a thunderbolt against the 
enemy, which is concentrating every available gun to break 
Crook's exposed flanks. " Boys,'' says he, " what we can't 
give them for want of powder and ball, we'll make up in cold 
steel. Fix bayonets ! " It gives one a peculiar sensation to 
hear the sharp rattle of steel, and the whole scene changes. 
It is ugly work, but the regiment is up and ready for the 
conflict. Colonel Thomas walks in front of his own regi- 
ment and talks tenderly with the men, as though they were 
of his own flesh and blood. He passes down in front of the 
Twelfth Connecticut, whose colonel has been killed, and asks 
the of&cer in command if he and his men are ready to join 
the Eighth Vermont in a bayonet charge. Many of the men 
respond by springing to their feet. The captain explains 
that his ammunition is exhausted. " So is mine," said Col- 
onel Thomas. "Three times my regiment has fired the last 
cartridge." " So has the Eighth Vermont," said their gal- 
lant old leader. Then walking back, he determines to lead 
his own regiment to the charge, and leave the others, believ- 
ing they would follow. He moves forward, holding his sword 
high in air. His faithful men spring to the line, their bayo- 
nets glistening in the sunlight. The Twelfth Connecticut, 
inspired by this courageous dash, soon follow, and the enemy 
are driven at the point of the bayonet from their works in 
the timber, our own regiment capturing scores of prisoners 
who could not get away, so sudden and desperate was the 
assault. In vain do staff ofiicers and General McMillan 
himself ride furiously after the men, shouting to Colonel 
Thomas to halt his lines ; ' the brave old commander — God 

' General Emory is reported to have said to General McMillan : "They 
[the Eighth Vermont and Twelfth Connecticut] will be cut all to hell if 
they go there," and ordered him to stop Thomas; but McMillan did not 
reach the latter till after he had made the charge. 


bless him! — is riding witli drawn sword, in front of a line of 
steel bayonets, and cannot be reached. Nor do they halt 
until the colors they bear are planted on the open plain in 
sight of Winchester. Not a Union flag to be seen in the 
wide sweep to the left, not a Union flag in front, not a Union 
flag to the right ; only rebel flags and batteries, one above 
the other, with infantry massed between, frowning down 
upon us, wdio are amazed at the grandeur of the scene. The 
regiment awaits the next order, while their leader hastily 
scans the fleld, which at that moment his men hold in sole 

A flash, and an angry roar and a horrid screeching sound 
is heard, as a shot tears through the air a few feet over our 
heads, and then we discover immediately on our left and 
front two pieces of artillery. The enemy we have driven 
back has retreated to the battery. Quickly Colonel Thomas 
orders the regiment to double-quick to the tall trees ten or 
fifteen yards to the left, form on the colors, and give them a 
volley. In scarcely more time than it takes to write it, the 
regiment obeys, and the order to load and fire is accompanied 
by a queer ^remark about "riddling their shirts." It is lit- 
erally carried out; for the volleys which follow instantly 
silence both pieces, and sweep every sign of life from the 
guns. Among those killed here was Charles Jenks of com- 
pany I. When the line reached the timber, where the en- 
emy's dead and wounded were lying as they had fallen, 
showing the effect of our rifles, the attention of the regiment 
was attracted to a strange scene ; — a dead rebel lay stretched 
on the ground and in front of him sat a little brown dog, 
trembling with fear, bolt upright but facing square to the 
front, faithful unto death. Not a bayonet or a foot touched 
the faithful creature ; the line of steel parted and the human 
wave rolled on through the woods, leaving the little sentinel 
undisturbed in his death-watch. 

This exciting affair is hardly over when white puffs of 
smoke dot the plain, and a storm of iron hail is rained upon 
our uncovered heads from guns planted further up the plain, 
one above and back of the other, and from difterent points, 
which bids fair, for a few moments, to completely wipe us 
out. But the Twelfth Connecticut has joined lis on the 
right, and the advance lines of Crook's corps are rushing in 
from the same direction. Plunging shot and shell are creat- 
ing terrible havoc in the tree-tops over our heads, when a 
Union flag bursts from the woods into the opening on our 
left ; then another and another, and the plain for a long dis- 


tance to our left swarms -with Union troops of the Sixth 
Corps, the flags and regiments appearing '<2;i echelon, while 
almost at the same instant the cannonading concentrated on 
ns is suddenly distributed along the whole line. 

Now we realize for the first time how far the rushing 
bayonet charge has carried our regiment in advance of the 
main army. Meanwhile General Upton of the Sixth Corps, 
whose men are coming up on our left, rides up through the 
regiment and engages in hasty conversation with Thomas, 
concerning troops obscured by smoke still further to the left. 
When the cloud-wreaths lift, and we catch sight of the famil- 
iar southern cross on the enemy's battle flags, the colonel 
orders the sights on the muskets raised, and one or two 
quick volleys are fired upon their confused linos. But our 
flanks are now up, and with infantry in front, cavalry and in- 
fantry on the enemy's left flank, with one grand rush the 
Union troops close on the Confederate army, and the finish- 
ing charge is sharp and crushing. Brave Colonel Van Pet- 
ten, although wounded, moves to the right of the Eighth 
Vermont with the One Hundred and Sixtieth New York, and, 
connecting with the right of Upton's troops, we advance 
rapidly toward the enemy's left centre, in the direction of 
their retreat, delivering an enfilading fire as we advance, and 
receiving in turn a heavy artillery tire. Men from Crook's 
corps, without any formation whatever, join us till we come 
to a stone wall, passing the bodies of the dead artillerists. 
But the enemy's artillery breaks down the w'all, the stones of 
which flew in all directions under their fire, when w^e move 
back a few yards and then charge over beyond; and by this 
time the entire rebel army is on a race for life, and soon af- 
ter Sheridan is able to telegraph to the war department that 
he has sent the enemy " whirling through Winchester," and 
that "this army fought splendidly." 

Horace Greeley, in his carefully prepared History of 
the Great Civil War, has singled out this bayonet charge as 
one worthy of special mention, for its national importance.' 

' ' ' Colonel Thomas, Eighth Vermont, ordered his men to charge at 
double-quick with the bayonet. In vain general officers shouted 'Haiti' 
'Lie down! ' ' Wait for supports! ' etc.; for, while some were still con- 
fused and vacillating, a staff officer from the right galloped in front, and 
pointed with his sabre to the woods which sheltered the enemy. At once 
all dissent was silenced, all hesitation at an end ; the whole centre, as one 
man, swept forward cheering and plunging into the woods, meeting there 
Crook's corps, charging from the flank. All the rebels who could still 
travel were by this time going or gone." — Greeley's American Conflict. 


In fact, it was the only actual bayonet charge in the great 
battle. Colonel Thomas simply anticipated Sheridan's plans, 
and by this charge accomplished exactly what Sheridan 
Avanted, to wit, to break the rebel left ; and the important 
thiijg desired by General Sheridan was secured in twenty 
minutes after Thomas's regiment was once under way. And 
when Thoburn's gallant men reached the enemy in the woods 
in their own front, they found his line to the left utterly 
shattered for more than three hundred yards by Thomas's 
bayonet charge. 

During the charge Lieut. Colonel Babcock of the Sev- 
enty-lifth New York, who had received a terrible and mortal 
wound, and a prisoner in the hands of the enemy till now, 
raised himself from the ground, in the woods, while his life 
blood was ebbing away, and waved us on, shouting: "Col- 
onel, you are doing it gloriously ! When you are through, 
remember me." Thomas waved his sword back to his dear 
friend, and answered : " M> dear fellow, I'm sorry for* you. 
I'll remember you." He kept his word and sent Sergeant 
Bowman back with a detail, and had Colonel Babcock car- 
ried from the field ; and Avliile in the hospital the dying 
officer remarked that he never experienced a happier mo- 
ment in his life than Avhen he saw Thomas leading that bold 
and successful bayonet charge. 

The loss of the regiment in this battle was surprisingly 
small considering its very exposed positions. That it did 
not suffer more while confronting Gordon was largely due 
to Colonel Thomas's care. While exposing his own person 
recklessly, he kept the men close to the ground, directing 
them to load while down and to rise only to fire. The list 
of casualties was 7 killed and 33 wounded. Among the 
wounded were Lieut. Colonel Dutton, one of the most efficient 
and popular officers of the regiment, who received a ball 
through his right forearm, which shattered the radius and 
occasioned his honorable discharge a month later ; Captain 
Geo. O. Ford of company K, slightly in the arm ; Lieutenant 
Wheaton Livingston, company B, severely in the chin, and 
Lieutenant Nathaniel Bobie, company I, severely in the leg.' 

Killed— Corporal Marshall W. Wells and Lawson Whittemore, known 
to have been wounded and supposed dead, of company A; Edmund Fisher, 


In reporting his list of casualties, Colonel Thomas was 
able to say : "I am happy to say that every officer and man 
did his whole duty. As an evidence of their attention to duty 
I am proud in behalf of Vermont to say, when we bivouacked 
for the night we had not a man missing. Those who have 
fallen, fell as a soldier should fall, face to the enemy." 


In the pursuit of Early next day, the Eighth marched 
with the Nineteenth Corps, crossed Cedar Creek in the after- 
noon, and bivouacked with the army just north of Strasburg, 
the Nineteenth Corps being in front, in the meadows on each 
side of the pike, with its headquarters in the village. The 
next forenoon the lines of both corps were moved forward to 
the high ground on the north side of Tumbling Run, facing 
Fisher's Hill on the other side of the run, where Earh' had 
taken position. D wight's division was on the right of the 
pike, with the Sixth Corps on its right, the two corps being 
massed opposite the enemy's centre. At four o'clock in the 
morning of the 22d, McMillan's brigade was moved forward 
into the woods, where shovels were supplied, and the men 
threw up some slight breastworks. Behind these they lay for 
nine or ten hours, while Crook was making his detour around 
Early's left. This movement of the Eighth Corps was as un- 

Charles J. Blood, Walter W. Pierce, Charles E. Jenks and Corporjil J.imes 
F. Black of company I. 

Wounded — Sergeant Kirk F. Brown, Corporal Roger Hovey, Gilman 
W. Blood, Michael Hurley, Wm. B. Page, Wm. H. Palmer and Carlos S. 
Clark of company A ; Corporal Wm. PI. Henry and Edward Belville (died 
from wounds) of company B ; Corporal Lawrence Swinger, John Miller 
and Henry A. Dow of company C; Sergeant Jacob Mills, Jr., Edgar Bar- 
stow and James Casey of company D ; James W. Averill and Thomas F. 
Ferrin of company E; Paul Bouskay and D. L. Payne of company F; 
Fabian Dupuis of company G; Sergeant Francis E. Warren, Corporal 
George P. Eddy and Sergeant Charles S. Smith of company I ; First Ser- 
geant Perry Porter, Jr., Corporal George Furbush, Samuel T. Penfield, 
Simon Scheikert, Corporal Wm. H. Silsby aud Lewis J. Ingalls of com- 
pany K. 


known to the men of that part of Sheridan's army as it was 
to the enemy, and they waited and wondered why nothing 
was done. Suddenly, between four and five o'clock in the 
afternoon, the Union batteries broke out furiously, and Gen- 
eral Dwight ordered the expected advance. At Colonel 
Thomas's command, the men of the Eighth sprang over the 
breastworks, deployed into line with the brigaoe, in the open 
ground in front, and all started forward. Soon the heights 
in front, along which Early's artillery flashed and roared, 
came plainly into view. To storm them looked like a desper- 
ate task. But the enemy, though firing rapidly, was firing 
wildly, and the losses were small. Suddenly General Mc- 
Millan rode up, shouting : " Crook is shelling their rear." 
The men could scarce understand this ; but they pressed on 
with increased speed. Then Captain Wilkinson of Emory's 
stafi" dashed down the line, waving his hat and shouting : 
"They have left their guns and are running like cowards!" 
General Sheridan and one or two of his aids followed, urging 
everything forward. The lines of cheering troops rushed 
down the slope, crossed the run, climbed the ascent beyond, 
and could scarce credit their senses when they found them- 
selves inside the works of Fisher's Hill, and no enemy there. 
Twenty Confederate cannon stood undefended, where they 
had been last fired. " Right where my company jumped over 
the works," says Captain S. E. Howard, '' was a brass piece 
with the shot half driven home and the rammer still in the 
gun. Materials of war were scattered about everywhere. 
The camp kettles hung over the fires, with the half-cooked 
supper still boiling in them. The blouses of the men hung 
on the low limbs of some trees. The dead and wounded lay 
as they had fallen, but the living enemy had fled in utter 
rout. Then it was Winchester over again. Line after line 
dashed forward, and battery after battery boomed its part- 
ing salute to the flying enemy." 

The Nineteenth Corps led the pursuit that night, and 


the Eighth Vermont led the column of the corps, for twelve 
miles, to Woodstock, in darkness so dense that it was impos- 
sible to keep the proper distance between the skirmishers 
and the head of the column. As it drew near Woodstock it 
liad a skirmish with Early's rear guard. This episode is thiis 
described by Captain Howard : *' Marching over and down 
a considerable hill, we noticed a light spring up in a small 
house by the roadside at the foot of the hill ; and just as our 
regiment reached the house we were opened upon by a bat- 
tery stationed on some high ground in advance of us. At the 
same moment, the timber which flanked the road on each 
side of us, at a little distance, was lit up by a blaze of mus- 
ketry. The battery had our range, and burst its first shell 
directly over us, wounding several men. The position was 
unpleasant. My company was directly in front of the house 
where the light was, and I made a rush for it, and, finding 
the door fastened, dashed out a window, and reaching 
through, overturned the light with my sword. Colonel 
Thomas ordered the regiment to charge up the bank to the 
left, which was done with a rush, and the temerity of the en- 
emy was punished by the cutting off and capturing of about 
250 of their men, in command of a major." A shot from a 
Union battery which had come up, completed the discomfi- 
ture of the rear guard of the enemy, and the brigade followed 
the latter to Woodstock, marching through the village just 
before dawn and bivouacking in a field beyond. In this lit- 
tle affair Lieutenant Edward F. Gould and two men, George 
Remick of company A, and J, B. Thomas, company F, were 
wounded. John F. Morrill of company G, straggled and was 
captured this night, and died several months after in the 
hands of the enemy. 

The Eighth marched with Sheridan's army to Harrison- 
burg, and on to IMount Crawford, and back to Cedar Creek; 
and a detail of the Eighth was on picket near Tom's Brook 
on the 9th of October and saw the cavalry fight, in which the 


First Yermont Cavalry had a gallant share, when General 
Rosser " lost everything he had on wheels," and learned not 
to crowd upon Sheridan's rear. 


On the 10th of October the Eighth went into camp with 
the Nineteenth Corps on the plateau north of Cedar Creek 
west of the pike, the right of Dwight's division resting on 
Meadow Brook. It lay here, intrenching and doirg picket 
duty, till the battle of Cedar Creek, in which it was to have 
so brilliant a share, took place. The main features of this 
battle have been described in previous pages of this history, 
and need not be repeated here. It is worthy of note that as 
the field officer of the day for the Sixth Corps, on that famous 
19th of October, was a Vermonter, so the field officer of the 
day for the Nineteenth Corps was a Vermonter ; and that it 
was not through the portions of the picket line in charge of 
these two officers that the entrance of the enemy was effected. 
The latter was Colonel Stephen Thomas, and so far from being 
surprised, he was especially on the alert. During the after- 
noon previous, while examining with his field glass the 
ground in front of his picket line, Thomas had noticed two 
men, on foot, apparently reconnoitring the Union position. 
The circumstance looked suspicious, and he reported it to 
General Emory, who asked him to mention it to General 
Wright, then commanding the army, in Sheridan's absence. 
General Wright did not consider the matter especially im- 
portant ; but Thomas was far from easy in his mind. He 
posted his line with unusual care that night ; and two hours 
before daylight next morning he was in the saddle and rode 
out upon the line, accompanied by Lieutenant Howe. All 
seeming to be quiet, he crossed the creek and rode up the 
pike a short distance beyond his picket line, to see what 
could be seen. Suddenly he was halted by an order, coming 
from a small body of cavalry, hardly visible in the fog and 



darkness: "Surrender, you d d Yankee!" "Not just 

yet ; it's too early in the morning," replied the colonel ; add- 
ing, as he wheeled his horse : " Besides, your language is not 
respectful." Putting spurs to his horse, Thomas made a 
hasty retreat, followed by several bullets. Satisfied that some 
hostile enterprise was on foot, Thomas now hurried back ta 
the camp, which by that time had been aroused by the firing 
in the camp of the Eighth Corps. The troops of the Nine- 
teenth Coi-ps were falling into line ; and as General McMillan, 
in the temporary absence of General D wight, was command- 
ing the First division, the command of the Second brigade 
fell to Colonel Thomas, and Major Mead took command of 
the Eighth Vermont. Two hundred men of the regiment were 
out on picket, leaving with the colors 16 officers and 150 men. 
These promptly fell in with the rest of the brigade, and were 
awaiting orders, when General Emory directed McMillan to 
send the brigade across the pike, to check the Confederate 
columns, which, having overwhelmed the Eighth Corps, were 
advancing almost unopposed upon the front and flank of the 
Nineteenth Corps. To attempt to stop them was a desper- 
ate endeavor.' The portions of three brigades which were 
available for the purpose, had each to confront a division or 
more, and must fight without supports. Thomas's brigade 
was not full, one regiment, the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania, 
having been detached temporarily, while the other three — 

' General Emory said to Colonel Thomas, when they met upon the 
same field many years after : "I never gave an order that caused me 
more pain than the one I gave you that morning. I knew it was sending- 
you into the jaws of death, and I never expected to see you again." In a 
letter to Captain Geo. N. Carpenter, the historian of the Eighth, General 
Emory says: " When I sent the heroic colonel of the Eighth Vermont, 
Colonel Thomas, across the pike at Cedar Creek, I was immediately occu- 
pied in defending my own headquarters, and in changing the front of bat- 
tle of the Nineteenth Corps, which was assailed in the rear by the total col- 
lapse of the Eighth Corps. But I well knew the gallantry of the Eighth 
Vermont and of the officers who commanded it ; and I felt safe in doing 
the only thing that could have been done under the terrible circumstances 
surrounding us." 


the Eighth Vermont, Twelfth Connecticut, and One Hundred 
and Sixtieth New York — ^did not take into line over 800 
muskets all told. The brigade was ordered into a piece of 
w^oods beyond a hollow. Breasting the tide of fugitives of 
the Eighth Corps, which, thus divided, rolled by on either 
side to the rear, the brigade moved steadily to the position 
indicated. With company G advanced as skirmishers, the 
Eighth pushed into the woods, where it was at once assailed 
by overwhelming numbers. Flanked on the left by Kam- 
seur, and charged in front and on the right by Kershaw, it 
was swept back through the woods, and as it came back its 
ranks were enfiladed by a line of the enemy, which had formed 
across the hollow through which they had advanced. The 
Eighth did not fall back without hard fighting. The opposing 
troops actually intermingled in the woods, and again in the 
ravine, and at one point a hand-to-hand struggle took place 
for the possession of the colors of the Eighth. After a bull- 
dog fight of half an hour's duration, the brigade, with the 
loss of half its fighting men — the loss of the Eighth Vermont 
being in still greater proportion ' — fell back to the pike, where 
it made a second stand. Driven from this position, it fell 
back from point to point, repeatedly halting to face the 
enemy, till it joined the division a mile and a half to the rear. 
Ramseur's and Kershaw's advance was thus delayed till the 
Sixth Corps could get into the position where it made its first 
stand, and the time thus gained was otherwise of the utmost 
consequence in enabling the Union generals to make their 
dispositions to stay the general rout. 

■ While Getty's division was making its fight east of Mid- 
dletown, the Nineteenth Corps was ordered back by General 
Wriglit to a point a mile or more to the north, where it 
halted till Sheridan came up. During this halt, the portion 
of the regiment which had survived the fight on the " hill of 

' " I nerer on any battlefield saw so much blood as on this. The firm 
limestone soil would not reeeive it." — Captain De Forest. 


sacrifice " was joined bj the pickets, under Lieutenant Henry 
Carpenter — less some twenty of tlieir number who were cap- 
tured on the picket line in the early morning by "Wharton's 
advance. This accession about doubled the number of bayo- 
nets in the line of the regiment. When Sheridan came the 
Nineteenth Corps was advanced and formed the right of the 
general infantry line. Gordon's lines were within musket 
range in front, and there was some sharp exchange of mus- 
ketry fire between the enemy and Thomas's brigade, which 
had hastily thrown up some frail breastworks of stones and 
rails, for its protection. About this time General Dwight re- 
turned to the division and General McMillan to his brigade, 
and Colonel Thomas resumed command of the Eighth, which 
after Major Mead was wounded in the early morning, had 
been commanded by Captain McFarland, a brave and capa- 
ble officer. At last the order forward came ; and springing 
over the breastworks, with the rest of the line, the Eighth 
dashed eagerly at the enemy. In the grand advance 
of Sheridan's lines the Eighth Vermont was, as it is be- 
lieved, the first to break the enemy's line. The portion of 
this which it struck was Evans's brigade of Georgia troops, 
which gave way before the charge and inaugurated the rout 
of Gordon's division. General Early says : "A portion of 
the enemy penetrated an interval which was between Evans's 
brigade on the extreme left and the rest of the line, when 
that brigade gave way and Gordon's other brigades soon 
followed." But the "interval" which the Eighth Vermont 
penetrated, was one which it made with its bayonets. A 
portion of Evans's brigade, thus cut off from the rest of Gor- 
don's line, opened fire on Thomas from some timber in 
his rear, whereupon, changing front to the right, he drove 
them from the position. Then turning back and joining the 
brigade in a half wheel to the left the Eighth followed the 
retreating enemy from point to point, taking many prisoners 
and halting at dusk in its camp of the morning. The work 


of the Eighth this day has been vividly described by Herbert 
E. Hill. Of the stand made by Thomas's brigade in the 
early morning east of the pike, he says : 

The Eighth Vermont, under Major Mead, occupied the 
most exposed position in the brigade, as the enemy, with 
deafening yells, were moving swiftly in from front and flank. 
As the great drops of rain and hail precede the hurricane, so 
now the leaden hail filled the air, seemingly from all direc- 
tions, while bursting shell from the enemy's cannon on the 
opposite hill created havoc on our only flank not yet exposed 
to the rebel infantry. Eegiment after regiment of the Eighth 
Corps had crumbled awa}^ and gone past to the rear ; our two 
companion regiments, the Twelfth Connecticut and One Hun- 
dred and Sixtieth New York, terribly smitten, clung tenaci- 
ously to us, their love as cordially reciprocated ; yet the sud- 
den rush of the enemy from every direction, in their yellow- 
ish suits, breaking through even the short intervals between 
the commands, forced each regiment to fight its own battle ; 
and so the Eighth Vermont was practically alone for st time, 
as the swarming enemy broke upon it with almost resistless 

Suddenly a mass of rebels confronted the flags, and with 
hoarse shouts demanded their surrender. Defiant shouts 
went back : "Never!" "Never!" And then, amid tremen- 
dous excitement, commenced one of the most desperate and 
ugly hand-to-hand conflicts over the flags that has ever been 
recorded. Men seemed more like demons than hiiman be- 
ings, as they struck fiercely at each other with clubbed mus- 
kets and bayonets. A rebel of powerful build, but short in 
stature, attempted to bayonet Corporal Worden of the color- 
guard. Worden, a tall, sinewy man, who had no bayonet on 
his musket, parried his enemy's thrusts until some one, I 
think Sergeant Brown, shot the rebel dead. A rebel soldier 
then levelled his musket and shot Corporal Petrie, who held 
the colors, in the thigh, — a terrible wound, from which he 
died that night. He cried out : "Boys, leave me ; take care 
of yourselves and the flag! " But in that vortex of hell men 
did not forget the colors ; and as Petrie fell and crawled away 
to die, they were instantly seized and borne aloft by Corporal 
Perham, and were as quickly demanded again by a rebel 
who eagerly attempted to grasp them ; but Sergeant Shores 
of the guard placed his musket at the man's breast and fired, 
instantly killing him. But now another flash, and a cruel 
bullet from the dead rebel's companion killed Corporal Per- 


ham, and tlie colors fell to the earth. Once more, amid ter- 
rific yells, the colors went up, this time held by Corporal 
Blanchard — and the carnage went on. Lieutenant Cooper was 
seen to raise his arm in the air ; and shouting, " Give it to 
them, boys!" he too was stricken with a death wound, and 
his white, sad, dead face is one of the living memories of the 
spot. Lieutenant Cooper's death was instantly avenged, 
however, by Sergeant Hill of company A, who shot the rebel. 
Hill then turned to assist a wounded companion who had fal- 
len at his side, when an excited enemy made a lunge at him, 
his bayonet gliding between the body and arm. He sprang 
quickly away, and by an adroit movement knocked the rebel 
down with clubbed musket, and continued fighting until sur- 
rounded and forced into the enemy's ranks, but refused to 
surrender, when a side shot tore away his belt, cartridge- 
box, and the flesh to his backbone, which crippled him to the 
ground ; but when Gordon's divisions swept the spot, some 
of the rebels wearing blue coats supposed to be taken from 
Crook's men, Hill rose and joined them in the charge, shout- 
ing with the rebels, and actually firing harmless shots at his 
own regiment. He was once challenged by a rebel oflicer, to 
whom he answered that he belonged to the Fourth Georgia. 
At the next stand made by the brigade on the pike. Hill 
rushed into the Union line, although exposed to the fire of his 
friends as well as his foes, and continued fighting till he sank 
to the ground from loss of blood, fell into the enemy's hands, 
and was again rescued at night. 

The fight for the colors continued. A rebel discharged 
his rifle within a foot of Corporal Bemis of the color-guard, 
and wounded him, but was in turn shot dead by one of our 
men. A little later. Sergeant Shores and Sewall Simpson 
were standing together by the flags, when three rebels at- 
tacked and ordered them to surrender ; but as they (the 
enemy) had just discharged their pieces, Simpson immediate- 
ly fired and shot one, while Shores ba3'ouetedthe other. Ser- 
geant Moran, whose devotion to the flag was intensified by 
the regiment's forty-four days' heroic action before Poi-t Hud- 
son, marvellously escaped, for he was in the hottest of the 
fight, and held the United States flag all the while, several 
times assisting in protecting the colors. Twice during the 
morning the writer was ordered to surrender, but respectfully 
declined. But as the enemy crowded on, a hundred rebels 
took the place of the dozen grasping for the flags. Sergeant 
Lamb, a noble, generous fellow, was shot through the lungs 
and taken prisoner, but later he fell into our hands again, 


and then died in great agony. Captain Howard was twice 
■wounded while witliin a few feet of the flags, and almost in 
the centre of the savage melee, but he managed to hobble 
away when the regiment was swept back. Captain Hall, 
honest and fearless, whose memory is sacred, gave his last 
order as he yielded to a deadly wound. Captain Ford was 
shot through both legs by bullets coming from opposite 
directions, and fell flat on his face, but refused to surrender, 
struggled to his feet, and escaped in the excitement. Cap- 
tain Smith, who so coolly led the skirmish line at Winches- 
ter, swells the bloody list. Major Mead, while fearlessly 
facing the enemy, was badly wounded in the side, and short- 
ly turned the command over to Captain McFarland. 

Later on, the brigade flag was in imminent danger of be- 
ing captured by the enemy, when Captain Franklin, with half 
a dozen of his company, furiously attacked the rebels who 
were struggling for it, and rescued it from their clutch. Mov- 
ing back he was wounded, but gallantly remained with the 
regiment during the afternoon. Lieutenant Cheney was mor- 
tally wounded and fell heavily to the ground. Lieutenant 
Bruce, while beating back a foe with his sword, was severely 
wounded. Lieutenant AVelch, who so gallantly led the skir- 
mish line at daybreak, and was then fighting like a tiger, was 
shot in the thigh, but stood his ground till tlie regiment went 
back. Private Austin received a terrible blow on his head 
from the butt of a rebel musket, instantly killing him. Cap- 
tain Shattuck, after receiving a bad wound, bravely continued 
with his men, and Lieutenants Sargent and Carpenter joined 
the list of heroes who shed their blood around the flags ; 
while scores of brave fellows in the ranks were torn and 
shattered in a manner fearful to behold. 

Over one-half the regiment was wounded or killed, when 
the third color-bearer, Coi-poral Blan chard, was also killed, 
and the silken colors, their soft folds pierced -with bullets and 
their third bearer weltering in his blood, bowed low to the 
earth amidst triumphant yells of the enemy ; but to their 
chagrin in a few seconds it was again flaunting in their faces. 
Bleeding, stunned, and being literally cut to pieces, but re- 
fusing to surrender colors or men, falling back only to pre- 
vent being completely encircled, the noble regiment had ac- 
complished its mission. 

Colonel Thomas with his immortal brigade blocked the 
advance of the rebel divisions, and actually held the Confed- 
erate army at bay until the Union commander could form the 
lines on grounds of his own choice. In this terrible charge 


the Eighth Yermont, the Twelfth Connecticut, and the One 
Hundred and Sixtieth New York were almost annihilated. 
Our own regiment lost over 100 gallant fellows, out of 159 
engaged, and 13 out of 16 commissioned officers, who were 
killed or wounded in the fearful struggle, and many of those 
who fell had been shot several times. 

It was useless to stand against such fearful odds ; and 
the regiment, which had maintained its organization and glo- 
riously performed its mission in holding the enemy in check, 
now almost completely surrounded by dense masses of rebel 
infantry, was for a few moments tossed about as a leaf in the 
small, fitful circle of a whirlwind, and then by a mighty gust 
lifted from the ground and swept back on the field ; but not 
without the flags. 

When nearly encircled and driven from the pike, the 
command of Colonel Thomas made another stand northeast 
of Sheridan's headquarters, to support the only piece of 
Union artillery that had not been withdrawn from the field. 
For this purpose the colonel collected fugitives from the 
Eighth Coi"ps, and with his own brigade formed a line, and 
held the position until a portion of a wagon train entangled 
in Meadow Run could pass on and escape. Then instead of 
moving directly to the rear, as the rest of the Union troops 
had done, Thomas took his command round the front of the 
Belle Grove House, and made a second stand just west of it. 
Then he crossed Meadow Bun and made a third stand in the 
rear of the camp deserted by the Sixth Corps, fighting the 
enemy all the way back for a mile. 

Still, notwithstanding the advantages gained and the gal- 
lant contest for every foot of ground, the enemy was haughty, 
arrogant, and aggressive, and our army had been driven back 
several miles, when Sheridan, at 9:45 o'clock, mounted on his 
black horse Winchester, swept up from the pike amid great 
clieering into the midst of his broken regiments, — a great 
light in a dark valley. The despair of the morning's awful 
struggle was now soon to give way to the ecstasy of victory. 

Sheridan hastily formed a line across the valley for the 
purpose of checking the advancing foe, and to that end phan- 
tom breastworks had been hurriedly thrown up by means 
that under almost any other circumstances would have been 
thought out of the question and useless. Small trees were 
cut clown and thrown in front ; with bayonets earth and stones 
were dug up or loosened, and with cofiee cups this was thrown 
in among the brush and leaves, together forming a slight pro- 
tection against the enemy's bullets, whenever he should ad- 


vance again. Imagine then the surprise and amazement when 
Sheridan dashed over the field and gave us the order to ad- 
vance and meet the enemy in open fight. 

It was now Ufe or death, and every man knew it. The 
order was instantly obeyed, and what were left of the Second 
brigade sprang over the little earthworks, and moved rapidly 
to the front until they approached the timber. Here were 
scattering trees with thick underbrush, from which there sud- 
denly burst a sheet of tlame and smoke, before which the 
regiment slightly recoiled. Crashes of musketry rolled down 
the entire line to the left. Sheridan was riding furiously 
among the troops. Regimental officers were shouting their 
command's, and the hideous "rebel yell" rent the air. 

Qii ckly the regiment dashed into the thick cedars, pour- 
ing a rapid volley into the very faces of hidden foes. This 
rush brought us into close quarters ; and, our own volleys 
exhausted, we again met spattering crashes of musketry fol- 
lowing in quick succession, and the regiment once more par- 
tially recoiled before the withering fire. Commanding offi- 
cers vied with each other in urging the men on, and the 
instant the enemy's volley slackened, the regiment swept 
forward and upon the rebel line, which was only a few yards 
distant and in plain sight ; only the low cedar bushes sepa- 
rated us. A mighty shout went up, and at that instant we 
realized that the enemy's line was giving way, and we occu- 
pied the ground they held a moment before. 

It is useless to attempt to describe the excitement of the 
next few moments, as the regiment flung itself, so to speak, 
upon the enemy. After the terrible experience in the morn- 
ing, it was but natural in this moment of victory that the 
men should go to the opposite extreme of exultation ; and 
again, as in the morning, virtually we were fighting alone, for 
the woods to our left shut off the main army from our view; 
but by the roar of battle and the wild shouts and yells which 
rose above the din of artillery, we could easily determine the 
position of the Union and rebel lines to our left. 

As a fact, there was a continuous line along our entire 
front ; and as far as we could see to the left and some dis- 
tance beyond our right flank we had driven this line back, 
but as yet were unable to pierce it. Every inch of the ground 
was stubbornly contested. The opportune time for the brig- 
ade had come upon which we now entered. Owing to tlie 
clearing and favorable condition of the groimd, Thomas's 
own regiment gained a decided advance, pierced the enemy 
like an arrowhead, and had the fortune to witness the first 


break in their line. We emerged from the woods, and to our 
front was an open field for a quarter of a mile, unobstructed 
save by the tall dried grass and fragments of a zigzag rail 
fence. The brigade swept into the field on the run. Owing to 
the nature of the ground, the men crowded together, but just 
as the rebel line was reached it broke and with wild shouts 
the brigade dashed ahead. AVe pierced the enemy's line of 
battle, and from that moment his doom was sealed. All was 
now confusion ; a portion of the enemy's line surged down to 
the left and into the woods. Others retreated on the run in 
our front, while another portion, perhaps to the number of 
two or three hundred, rushed to the right and into the tim- 
ber, which offered the most natiiral and immediate protection. 

In the meantime Colonel Thomas's horse was shot and 
fell to the ground. Suddenly, spattering shots, quickly in- 
creasing to a rapid fire, came down from the trees on the 
right, where a body of rebels had boldly returned to the 
attack and opened a murderous fire into the right flank and 
rear of the brigade. 

I stood near our regimental colors, which had halted, 
probably on account of the accident to the colonel, and 
shouted to the men to return or the flags would be captured. 
The sharp firing from the right instantly attracted the atten- 
tion of the regiment, and in squads and singly within five 
minutes most of them returned to the colors. The enemy's 
fire was rapidly returned, the men firing at will, when by or- 
der of Colonel Thomas the brigade with shouts and yells 
charged iuto the woods. The enem}- broke in great con- 
fusion and ran to the south and west. The brigade then 
swung to the front again, and with excited shooits and cheers, 
accompanied by Colonel Thomas on foot, rushed on after 
the now thoroughly defeated and disheartened foe.' 

' " The attack was brilliantly made ; the enemy's resistance was very 
determined. His line of battle overlapped mine, and by turning with that 
portion of it on the flank of the Nineteenth Corps caused a slight momen- 
tary confusion. This movement was checked, however, by a charge of 
McMillan's brigade on the re-entering angle, and the enemy's flanking 
party was cut off." — Gen. Sheridan's report. 

"Tiien followed one of the most extraordinary reversals in the history of 
any war. Sheridan moved around our flank, swept down it, and broke our 
line all to fragments."— Gen. Gordon's account; Burr's history. 

" The contest was very close for a time, but at length the left of the 
enemy's line broke and disintegration soon followed along the whole line." 
— U. S. Grant; Personal Memoirs, Vol. II. 

" In the final attack of the day, which decided the fate of Early, it was 
an attack by Dwight's division which made the beginning of the end." — 
B. W. Crowninshield. 


It was a singular coincidence that the brigade wliich 
inarched out and met the fiercest fire in the morning, and 
suffered the heaviest loss, was the first to pierce the enemy's 
line in the afternoon. There was also a grim satisfaction in 
knowing that the swath was being cut through the identical 
divisions from which we received the combined assault at 
early dawn. 

Here again human nature showed itself as some of the 
men jumped iip and down, shouted, and threw their hats or 
caps into the air in their excitement. I remember distinctly at 
that moment looking back and seeing a line approaching 
from the rear and left, which I suppose to have been the 
troops General McMillan mentions in his report as the two 
regiments of the First brigade, ordered to swing to the right 
and assist in dislodging the hidden foe. But as a fact they 
did not come within hailing distance until after we had 
charged and routed the enemy. 

Early's left flank (Evans's brigade) was now completely 
shattered, and his demoralized forces retreated rapidly 
toward his centre, with the exception of the few who went 
off" to the right. Then we charged down into Gordon's other 
brigades, and soon found ourselves passing down diag- 
onally in front of the main army. Sheridan was in at the 
break. He was mounted on his gray charger, to which he 
had changed from the black horse Winchester, and once 
during the fight was so near we could have touched him. 

After this there were vain attempts to check our on- 
w^ard course ; Init there was hardly a halt of the regiment as 
we pressed through timber or clearing, with two or three 
exceptions, — the first, when we encountered two pieces of 
artillery, and on one occasion felt almost sure they were 
within our grasp ; but after emptying themselves of grape 
and canister, they were hauled off to our left and front, to 
annoy us again further on. The second, when we were 
crowding on them too closely, they savagely turned and shot 
down Corporal Worden,' our temporary color-bearer. This 
only seemed to rouse the regiment to further effort, and it 
pressed fiercely on again. 

Wounded and dead men marked the enemy's pathway 
as we rushed over logs, fences and through thickets, till the 
regiment emerged from the timber and came out on the brow 

' "Worden carried the ball in his thigh for over nineteen years, when it 
was removed by a surgeon in New York city. 


of a bill, in advance of any other Union troops, and in full 
view of almost the entire rebel army. What a sight ! Such 
as our army never beheld before, and never would again ; 
the event of a lifetime. We had completed so much of a 
turn as to face nearly east, and double the enemy's left back 
upon their centre, and stood on their flank overlooking what 
then became a great, rushing, turbulent, retreating army, 
Avithout line or apparent organization. At that moment, the 
Sixth Corps, seeing our men across the skirt of the meadow, 
mistook them for Confederates, and fired upon them. But 
the regiment ceased firing, and waved its flags, to enable 
the Sixth Corps to identify it. 

This danger soon past, the regiment resumed firing with 
a vengeance, only to attract the attention of the enemy's ar- 
tillery ; and a battery of two guns opened on us from a little 
eminence opposite our right and across the meadow. The 
first shot buried itself in the bank below ; then a second, and 
a little nearer ; while the third plunged underneath us, tear- 
ing up the ground and whirling the writer completely about. 
The regiment at this point lost several badly wounded, and 
two or three killed. 

An officer rode up from the rear and hurriedly ordered 
Colonel Thomas to charge and take the battery. "That's 
what we are after, sir," replied Thomas ; " I'm only waiting 
for support." As a fact, the Eighth regiment at that mo- 
ment was entirely alone. But the order to move forward 
was given, and the regiment dashed down the bank skirting 
the meadow and alongside the flying fragments of rebel regi- 
ments, closely followed by the Twelfth Connecticut, cheering 
as they ran. The battery saw us coming, and fired with re- 
doubled energy, but our close proximity and the depression 
of the ground saved us from loss, and in their confusion the 
gunners fired wildly, so that most of the storm intended for 
us fell short or swept just over our heads. The guns were 
hastily hauled down the opposite slope out of our clutches, 
to join in the grand rush across Cedar Creek, under a shower 
of bullets from our victorious rifles. 

As the pursuing infantry reached again the ground 
where their morning camp had stood, the Eighth Vermont 
still in advance, a halt of half an hour was made, for bring- 
ing in our Wounded men, some of whom fell in the morning 
and had lain all day on the dispiited field, and were shiver- 
ing in the raw night air. Eire was built, and coffee prepared 
for the refreshment of the men after their long fast ; but be- 


fore it could be served, orders came to advance again, and, 
leaving the wounded to the surgeons, and the dead uncared 
for, on Ave went again, after the Hying foe. 

The enemy crossed Cedar Creek, hurried on and en- 
trenched near midnight behind their old breastworks, be- 
yond Fort Banks and Strasburg. But our regiment followed 
closely, and, crawling up under their works, found them- 
selves on the very spot they had occupied the night before 
the battle of Fisher's Hill. The men lay on their arms, un- 
der strict orders to observe silence and not wen to speak 
aloud. But before da^dight Thomas moved his regiment 
])ack to Fort Banks. Rosser's cavalry still hovered on the 
pike below, and the Union cavalry coming up, the regiment 
had a chance to watch from its position a brief but sharp 
engagement before the rebel horsemen fled. 

The Eighth Vermont entered the figiit nearly two hours 
earlier than the other Vermont troops. It received the 
fiercest charge of the day. Its relative loss of numbers 
actually engaged in the morning fight was heavier than that 
of any other Union regiment. It led the charge back, and 
was a part of the "arrow-head" which had the honor to first 
pierce the enemy's line of battle in the forenoon ; — main- 
taining that advance, it was at midnight farther to the front 
in pursuit of the enemy than any of Sheridan's infantry. 
Thus closed the battle. 

With not over 350 effective men on the field, and at no 
time having in line over 200 bayonets, the Eighth Vermont 
this day lost 15 killed, 82 wounded and 27 missing — total, 
124; a percentage of casualties only exceeded among the 
Vermont regiments by that of the Fifth regiment at Savage's 

Among the killed was Lieutenant A. K. Cooper of com- 
pany A; Captain Edward Hall of company E, received a 
shot through the bowels, from which he died nine days af- 
ter ; and First Lieutenant Nathan C. Cheney of company 
K, also received a mortal wound, from which he died two 
days after. Among the wounded were Major Mead, who 
received a flesh wound in the side in the morning, but after 
having his wound dressed returned to duty at night ; Cap- 
tain A. B. FrankUn, in the leg ; Captain W. H. Smith, in 


head and arm ; Captain G. O. Ford, shot through both 
thighs ; Captain S. E. Howard, who received two wounds, 
one a severe one in the arm, which occasioned his discharge 
six weeks after ; Adjutant S. W. Shattuck, leg ; First Lieu- 
tenant A. J. Sargent, severely in hip ; Lieutenant James 
"Welch, severely in leg, occasioning his discharge four months 
later ; Lieutenant Wm. H. Spencer, severely in thigh, occa- 
sioning his discharge five months after ; Lieutenant Frank- 
lin R. Carpenter ; Lieutenant Henry H. Newton, leg broken 
by fall of his horse while on detached service ; and Lieuten- 
ant Lewis Child, on the brigade staff, also injured by the 
fall of his horse, which was shot under him. The officers 
thus killed or permanently disabled were among the most 
meritorious officers in the line, and their loss was deeply 
felt in the command.' 

' The casualties among the rank and file were as follows : Killed — 
Lucius Estes of company A ; Corporal George F. Blanchard, James S. 
Bigelow and William J. Fadden of company B; John H. Day of company 
D ; George E. Austin of company G ; Sergeant Jonathan V. Allen and 
George E. Ormsby of company H ; Sergeant Lewis H. Laml), Alonzo 
Mills and Charles F. Phillips of company I ; Corporal Lyman F. Perham, 
Franklin Russell and Paschal P. Shores of company K. 

Wounded — Sergeant Seth C. Hill, Oliver P. Dunham and Aliston E. 
Shepard of company A ; Sergeant Henry H. Holt, Corporal Myron P. 
Warren (fatally), Silas Baker, Orville R. Brooks, George W. Derby and 
Samuel Guthrie of company B ; William Leith, Oscar Page and Cyrus S. 
Root (fatally) of company C; George H. Austin, George N. M. Bean, Wil- 
liam C. Bliss, Joseph Mansur, Joseph S. Rollins, Sergeant Henry C. Rich- 
ardson, Samuel W. Scott, Jeremiah D. Styles, Freeling G. Thomas (fatally) 
and Asa Thompson (fatally) of company D ; Corporal George Maxham, 
Mason P. Burke, Horace A. Hull, Edwin Phelps, Julius L. Poor and James 
Robinson of company E; Abraham Douglass and George G. Smith of com- 
pany F; Sergeant Martin L. Bruce, Corporal William D. Plumley, James 
H. Bement, Fabian Dupuis and James Tracy of company G; Sergeant 
Heniy B. Brown, Samuel S. Childs (fatally), Simeon Canedy, Albert O. 
Evans (fatally), George R. Harrington, William H. Reed (fatally), Cyrus 
M. White and George A. Williams of company H ; Corporal Leonard C. 
Bemis, Corporal Alfred S. Warden, Warren W. Kerr, Sidney L. May and 
Daniel B. Mills of company I ; Sergeant Ethan P. Shores, Sergeant Solon 
P. Simons, Corporal John Petrie (fatally), Ransom Coolbeth, Albert D. 
Grant, George Page and Sewall Simpson of company K ; — and 13 others. 


Colonel Thomas, in his report, recommended Captain 
Franklin for promotion, at the first vacancy, making especial 
reference to his service in rescuing the brigade headquarters 
flag from capture ; he also made especial mention of Captain 
McFarland for brave and efficient conduct in command of 
the regiment. 

With Cedar Creek the hard fighting of the Eighth Ver- 
mont ended, and no more men fell in its ranks by hostile 

On the 12th of November the regiment was at Newtown 
in the valley, with the Nineteenth Corps, when Merritt and 
Custer engaged Rosser's and Lomax's cavalry. In this action 
a New York infantry regiment, which had been advanced to 
support the cavalry, was driven in through the picket line of 
the Nineteenth Corps. This was held near the turnpike by 
the Eighth Vermont ; and the men piled some breastworks of 
rails, and kept back Payne's Confederate cavalry till Sheri- 
dan sent out supports, and the enemy were driven across 
Cedar Creek. 

During November and December the following promo- 
tions took place : Major J. B. Mead was made lieutenant 
colonel; Captain A. B. Franklin, company H, major; First 
Lieutenant Henry Carpenter, company F, adjutant; First 
Lieutenant L. M. Hutchinson, captain of company E ; Adju- 
tant S. W. Shattuck, captain company H ; M. L. Hodgkins, 
first lieutenant company F ; James "Welch, company G, first 
lieutenant ; Second Lieutenant Joseph N. Dunton, company 
H, first lieutenant ; Second Lieutenant Ezra H. Brown, com- 
pany A, first lieutenant ; Henry H, Newton, company A, sec- 
ond lieutenant. 

When the Sixth Corps left the valley, the Nineteenth 
remained with Sheridan, and the Eighth Vermont lay for five 
weeks at " Camp Russell," at Newtown, throwing up breast- 
works and preparing winter quarters. It was not to winter 
there, however. On the 20th of December came orders to 


break camp, and in the afternoon the Eighth started down 
the valley with the corps, marched through Winchester in the 
evening, and continued on till nearly midnight, making a 
march of about twenty miles. The men bivouacked on frozen 
ground, woke in a severe snowstorm, and pushed on next 
morning in the snow to Summit Point, half way between 
Winchester and Harper's Ferry. Here the troops stockaded 
their tents and built block-houses along the railroad — five 
miles of which were guarded by the brigade — for protection 
against Mosby's irregular cavalry. 

The most exciting event at Summit Point was the cap- 
ture by guerrillas of eleven men of a party of twenty who 
were out chopping wood. These were taken to Richmond, 
but were soon after exchanged and rejoined the regiment. 

The first of the new year, 1865, found the regiment at 
Summit Point, with 675 men on the roll, of whom 470 were 
reported present for duty. During the month of January the 
regiment was orphaned by the departure of Colonel Thomas, 
whose three years' term was about to expire. Under the 
rules of the War Department he could not be re-mustered 
with his present rank, as the regiment did not have men 
enough to entitle it to a colonel ; and it already had a lieu- 
tenant colonel. Under the circumstances. Colonel Thomas 
felt constrained to apply to be mustered out. With what re- 
luctance his request was granted, is shown by the endorse- 
ments of his brigade and corps commanders. That of General 
McMillan stated that he forwarded the request " with great 
regret, as Colonel Thomas is a most valuable officer to the 
service, and his place cannot be easily filled." General 
Emory's was as follows : " The general commanding regrets 
exceedingly to lose the services of Colonel Thomas, whom 
he has twice recommended to be brevetted for gallantry and 
meritorious services ; and he yet entertains the hope that 
Colonel Thomas will receive the promotion that he merits, and 
return to the corps." Ten days afterwards Thomas was ap- 


pointed brigadier general, liis commission bearing date of 
February 1st, 1865. Before lie was again assigned to further 
active service the war ended, and he did not return to the 
field. It is the simple truth to say that few, if any, officers 
in the army had more of the respect and affection of the offi- 
cers and men of their commands than he. 

Returning to Vermont, Colonel Thomas interested him- 
self in procuring recruits for the Eighth, enough of whom 
joined the regiment the last week in February to enable 
Lieut. Colonel Mead to be mustered as colonel on the 4th of 

On the 5th of March more recruits arrived, carrying the 
aggregate of the regiment up to 781, with 662 for duty. April 
Ith the regiment with the rest of the corps and other troops, 
under General Hancock, General Sheridan having left the 
valley with the cavalry corps, moved up the valley to New- 
town ; and a week later returned to Summit Point. 

The following promotions in the regiment were made 
early in the year 1865 : February 23d, Second Lieutenant 
Geo. G. Hutchins, company E, to be first lieutenant ; Sergeant 
Francis E. Warren, company I, to be first lieutenant, and 
then, April 18tli, to be captain ; Sergeant Newell H. Hib- 
bard, company E, second lieutenant ; Sergeant George W. 
Hill, company K, second lieutenant ; March 3d, First Lieu- 
tenant Joseph N. Dunton, company H, captain of company 
C ; Hospital Steward Wm. H. Haskins, captain of company 
D, vice Captain A. E. Getchell, whose term had expired ; 
Lieutenant James "W. Smith, company K, captain ; Lieu- 
tenant Waitstill R. Pettie, company H, first lieutenant; 

' Colonel Mead was a native of Stratham, N. H., but came to Vermont 
in his boyhood, and at the opening of the war was a farmer in Kandolph, 
Vt. He enlisted, at the age of 80, in January, '63, went out as second 
lieutenant of company G, and rose by merit through the intermediate 
grades to the colonelcy, sustaining always the character of a capable offi- 
cer, a good disciplinarian and a Christian gentleman. He was prominent 
in civil life after the war, and died at Randolph, in December, 1887. 



Sergeant Martin L. Bruce, company G, first lieutenant; 
Sergeant Horace P. Emerson, company D, second lieuten- 
ant ; Sergeant Hymenius A. Davis, company H, second lieu- 
tenant ; Sergeant Abner N, Flint, company G, second lieu- 
tenant. April 6tli, Sergeant Curtis W. Lynn, company B, 
second lieutenant ; April 18tli, Sergeant Henry W. Downs, 
company I, second lieutenant. 

Bev. Thomas Bayne of Irasburgh, was commissioned 
chaplain, February 23d. 

April 15tli the regiment, with other troops, was hurried 
to Washington by rail, and formed part of the cordon of in- 
fantry that was drawn around the city of Washington to pre- 
vent the escape of John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Presi- 
dent Lincoln. The men stood on guard through the night. 
Next day it became known that Booth had escaped beyond 
the encircling line, and the regiment returned to Summit 
Point. At this time the last squad of recruits, 21 in number, 
joined the regiment, bringing its aggregate up to 847, with 
713 for duty. 

April 21st the regiment left the Shenandoah Valley for 
Washington, where it encamped at Brightwood, near Fort 
Stevens, and during the trials of the assassins of President 
Lincoln and Secretary Seward, it was stationed, as part of 
the military reserve, near the Arsenal, in which the assassina 
were confined. 

May 23d the regiment participated in the review of the 
Nineteenth Corps by President Johnson. 

June 1st Dwight's division of the Nineteenth Corps was 
ordered to Savannah, and the men of the Eighth, much 
against their will, for they had seen enough of the South as 
soldiers, embarked at Alexandria, in a steamer which was to 
sail next morning. 

But almost at the last moment, Governor Smith, who was 
in Washington, procured from the Secretary of War a revoca- 
tion of the order, so far as the Eighth Vermont was con- 


cemed. At two o'clock next morning, two hours before they 
were to sail, Colonel Mead received an order to report to 
General Wright, commanding the Sixth Corps, and the regi- 
ment joyfully disembarked. This order detached the regi- 
ment from the brigade, division and corps with which it had 
so long been associated. It parted from them to their sin- 
cere regret and with the respect and esteem of all. "The 
Eighth Vermont," said General Emory in a letter to Captain 
Geo. N. Carpenter, written in 1885, " was a solid and reliable 
regiment, that could be depended on under the scorching 
heats of the South as well as in the rigorous winter climate 
of the Shenandoah." After a week in a pleasant camp near 
Alexandria, the regiment joined the other Vermont troops 
in camp with the Sixth Corps near Munson's Hill. Here it 
participated in the review of the Vermont troops by Gov- 
ernor Smith on the 7th of June and in the review of the 
Sixth Corps by President Johnson on the 8th. The men 
took especial pains to prepare for these reviews, and the 
regiment was highly complimented for its fine appearance.' 
The regiment remained two weeks longer at Munson's 
Hill, when the recruits whose terms would expire within 
three months were mustered out on the 21st of June. A 
week later the remainder were mustered out. The regiment 
left Washington next day, June 29th, and arrived at Burling- 
ton July 2d, with 650 officers and men. Marching to the 
City Hall, the regiment was received by Colonel L. B. Piatt, 
of the Citizens' Reception Committee, and welcomed home 
by Eev. N. P. Foster. Colonel Mead, who was present, 
though suffering from injuries received in a railroad accident 
on the way home, from which he narrowly escaped with his 
life, responded fittingly. A collation was served in the hall 

' " The Eighth Vermont, a veteran regiment, four years in the service, 
commanded by Colonel John B. Mead, was especially noticed for its ex- 
cellent marching and the perfect alignment of its bayonets. Every soldier 
bore in his cap a sprig of cedar, emblem of his State." — Washington In- 
telligencer, June 9th, 1865 


by the ladies, and tlie soldiers acknowledged their welcome 
by hearty cheers for the ladies and citizens of Burlington, 
adding three cheers for their old commander, General 
Thomas. On the 8th and lOtli of July they were paid oft', and 
departed to their homes. 

The final statement of the regiment shows that a larger 
number of its members re-enlisted than of any other Ver- 
mont regiment except the Seventli ; and that more men of 
the Eighth were promoted to be ofiicers in other regiments 
than of any other Vermont regiment, no less than 33 of its 
members receiving commissions in the regiments of the 
United States colored troops, which were officered by 
white men. Those so commissioned were Henry C. Abbott, 
Samuel H. Bailey, Charles W. Blake, Isaac Blake, Orwell 
Blake, Frank Brown, Lucius N. Bissell, Rufus H. Clark, 
Charles C. Cotton, William K. Crosby, Charles A. Cutler, 
Charles B. Fullington, Oscar W. Goodridge, Hiram P. Haney, 
Augustine P. Hawley, Lucius C. Herrick, Harvey O. Kiser, 
Rufus Kinsley, Sumner W. Lewis, James A. Matthews, Ed- 
ward D. Mooney, James Noyes, Parker J. Noyes, William 8. 
Peabody, George W. Peavey, Hiram E. Perkins, William F. 
Peters, Elijah K. Prouty, Harvey L. Smith, Stillman Smith, 
Warren B. Stickney, John M. Thompson, Lewis R. Titus, 
Michael B. Tobin, William G. Westover, Azariah F. Wild, 
Lemuel I. Winslow, and Charles G. Wood. 

The list of battles and actions in which the Eighth Ver- 
mont took part is as follows : 


Occupation of New Orleans, ..--.._ May, 18G2. 
Boutte Station and Bayou Des Allemands, - - - - Sept. 4, 18G2. 
Steamer Cotton, --------- Jan. 14, 18G3. 

Bisland, - - - April 12, 1868. 

Port Hudson, assault, - - May 27, 1863. 

Port Hudson, night engagement, ----- June 10, 1863. 

Port Hudson, assault, - - - June 14, 1863. 

Opequon, . - Sept. 19, 1864. 

Fisher's Hill, ------- Sept. 21 and 22, 18C4. 

Cedar Creek, - - Oct. 19, 1864. 

Newtown, Nov. 12, 1864, 


The final statement of the Eighth regiment is as follows : 

Original members — com. officers, 36; enlisted men, 980; total 1016 


Recruits, 752 ; transfers from other regiments, 4 ; total 756 

Aggregate 1773 


Killed in action — com. officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 69; total 71 

Died of wounds — com. officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 31 ; total 83 

Died of disease — com. officers, 6 ; enlisted men, 207; total 213 

Died (unbounded) in Confederate prisons, 20; from accident, 8 ; total 28 

Total of deaths 345 

Honorably discharged — com. officers, resigned, 16 ; for wounds and 

disability, 6; enlisted men, for wounds, 12; for disability, 224 ; 

total 258 

Dishonorably discharged — com. officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 6 ; total 9 

Total discharged 2()7 

Promoted to U. S. A. and other regiments — officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 

35; total 38 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, signal service, regular army, 

etc 62 

Deserted, 86; dropped from the rolls, 1 ; unaccounted for, 4; total.... 91 
Mustered out — com. officers. 46 : enlisted men, 923 : total 969 

Aggregate 1772 

Total wounded 236 

Total re-enlisted 321 



Organization — Rendezvous at Brattleboro — Departure for tlie War — Win- 
chester — Siege and Surrender of Harper's Ferry — March to Annapolis 
— Journey to Chicago — Guarding Confederate Prisoners — Sombre Ex- 
periences — Exchanged and Ordered to the Field — Suffolk, Va. — York- 
town — Mortality from Disease — Newport, N. C. — Battle of Newport 
Barracks — Retreat to Beaufort — Reoccupation of Newport — Expedi- 
tion to JacksoHville, N. C. — New Berne — Departure from North Caro- 
lina — Joins Army of the James before Richmond — Bailey's Cross 
Roads — Battle of Chapin's Farm — Capture and Defence of Fort Harri- 
son by General Stannard, and Storming of Battery Morris — Battle of 
Fair Oaks — Sent to New York City — Return to the Army — Winter 
Quarters — Competitive Inspections — Fall of Richmond — Triumphal 
Entry into the City — Guard duty at Richmond — Return Home. 

The Ninth regiment was recruited early in the summer 
of 1862. In the first twelve months of the war Vermont had 
forwarded nine thousand men to the front ; and recruiting 
had ceased in the State, as elsewhere in the North, in April, 
1862, because the government had all the men it wanted. 
That the half million of federal troops in the field would be 
enough to end the war was taken for granted, and the young 
men who had been thinking of enlisting turned their atten- 
tion to the pursuits of ci^dl life. The belief that no more 
soldiers would be needed was, however, suddenly disj^elled by 
a despatch from the War Department to Governor Holbrook 
on the 21st of May, directing him to raise at once an addi- 
tional infantry regiment. This order was followed, on the 
25th of May, wli«n Stonewall Jackson had driven Banks out 
of the Shenandoah Valley, by a despatch stating that the 
enemy was threatening Washington, and directing t.V^' gov- 
ernor to forward at once all the volunteer and mih'"' '^^fo^ce 


in the State. Tliere were no troops of either kind in Ver- 
mont to send ; but the State authorities bent all their ener- 
gies to the effort to raise at once another regiment of volun- 
teers. Recruiting stations were established and recruiting 
officers appointed as follows : Bennington, Sanford M. 
Robinson, Jr.; Bradford, John C. Stearns; Brattleboro, 
Francis Goodhue ; Burlington, Eeed Bascom ; Hyde Park, 
Charles Dutton ; Irasburgh, Amasa Bartlett ; Middlebury, 
Albert R. Sabiu ; Perkinsville, Charles Jarvis ; Plainfield, 
Albion J. Mower ; Rutland, Edward H. Ripley ; St. Johns- 
bury, Edwin B. Frost ; Swanton, Albert B. Jewett. The 
people responded well. Enlistments were promoted by the 
selection for colonel of Lieut. Colonel Stannard of the Sec- 
ond, who left the field to assist in the work of raising the 
regiment ; and though all the machinery of recruiting had to 
be reorganized, in six weeks from the receipt of the order 
the Ninth regiment was in camp. 

The companies organized as follows : A, Swanton, June 
14th, Captain V. G. Barney ; B, Rutland, June 20th, Captain 
Edward H. Ripley ; C, Middlebury, June 24th, Captain Al- 
bert R. Sabin ; D, Perkinsville, June 25th, Captain Charles 
Jarvis ; E, Irasburgh, June 25th, Captain Amasa Bartlett ; 
F, Burlington, June 25th, Captain George A. Beebe-; G, 
Bradford, June 26th, Captain William J. Henderson ; H 
Hyde Park, June 27th, Captain Abial H. Slayton ; I, Plain- 
field, June 30th, Captain Albion J. Mower ; K, Brattleboro, 
July 3d, Captain David W. Lewis. 

The companies were uniformed at the recruiting sta- 
tions, and reported at the rendezvous at Brattleboro in the 
last week of June and first week of July — a period when 
the mails and telegraph wires were freighted with the ex- 
citing news of the seven days' fighting before Richmond and 
of President Lincoln's call for 300,000 more volunteers. 

'ihe regiment was rapidly equipped, under the active 
ex'^^rti s of Quartermaster General Davis, and armed with 


Belgian rifles — the best gun that could at that time be pro- 
cured. The men went into camp in wall and Sibley tents 
(which they took with them to Washington), and were kept 
busy with squad and company drills, under experienced in- 
structors. The field and staff ofticers of the regiment were 
in character and experience second to those of no regiment 
as yet organized. The colonel was George J. Stannard, a 
soldier of experience and high military capacity. The lieu- 
tenant-colonel was Dudley K. Andross, who had been cap- 
tain of the Bradford company and under fire in the First 
regiment. The major was Edwin S. Stowell of Cornwall, 
late captain in the Fifth, and one of the best line oflicers in 
that regiment. The adjutant was John C. Stearns, late the 
capable sergeant-major of the First regiment. The quarter- 
master was Francis O. Sawyer of Burlington, whose business 
training had been that of an express agent, and who speedily 
demonstrated the fitness of his selection. The surgeoncy 
was first tendered to Dr. Charles L. Allen of Eutland, who 
declined it, as he had been offered a higher position, and was 
then filled by the appointment of B. Walter Carpenter, as- 
sistant surgeon of the Second Vermont and one of the most 
popular and efiicient members of the medical staff of the 
First brigade. The assistant surgeon was Dr. Horace P. 
Hall of St. Albans. Rev, Lucius C Dickinson of Cavendish, 
a worthy clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church, was 
appointed chaplain. 

Nearly or quite a third of the line officers had held 
commissions or served in the ranks of the First regiment. 
The rank and file were largely farmers and farmers' sons, 
averaging a little younger than the men of the preceding 
regiments. Among them were a number of boys of 18 ; but 
many also were men of mature years, of education and prop- 
erty and recognized standing in their respective towns. 

On the 9th of July the regiment was mustered into the 
United States service, with 920 officers and men, bj Major 


"Win. AiTstine, U. S. A., United States mustering ofl&cer for 
Vermont. The regimental colors were presented by Gov- 
ernor Holbrook in a fitting speech, to which Colonel Stan- 
nard responded. 

On the morning of the 15th of July the regiment broke 
camp in the rain and took train for the field, with the usual 
demonstrations. At Springfield the regiment received an 
artillery salute from the guns at the United States arsenal ; 
and refreshments were served in the cars by the citizens. At 
New Haven, in the afternoon, the regiment took the steamer 
Bay State and landed at New York the next morning, all 
eyes opening wide as they passed the mammoth English 
steamer, the Great Eastern, moored in the East River. 
Landing at the foot of 23d street. East River, the regiment 
marched to Madison Square, where the men stacked arms 
and had breakfast. 

As the Ninth was the first regiment to pass through 
New York for the field, under the new call for troops, its ar- 
rival aroused unusual interest, and that city, which always 
gave a kindly greeting to the Vermont soldiers, welcomed 
this regiment with especial enthusiasm. Admiring crowds 
surrounded the boys in Madison Square and lined tbe 
streets through which they marched, and the New York 
papers did not stint compliments for the Green Mountain 
State and its soldiers.' 

' " The Greea Mountain boys are the first to respond to the call of the 
president for additional troops. * * * The march of this magnificent 
body of 1000 men through the aristocratic avenues and the grand thorough- 
fares of trade and traffic excited unusual interest and provoked the most en- 
thusiastic demonstrations. The doors, windows and balconies of the 
brown stone palaces were graced with fashion, wealth and beauty, and 
Broadway was lined with vast multitudes of men and women eager to 
honor the Green Mountain boys as they marehed to the music of the 
Union. A salute was fired as they passed the City Hall and refreshments 
were distributed from the Astor House. Dr. Marsh supplied the regiment 
with 1000 of his temperance tracts." — N. Y. Tribune, July 17th, 1862. 

" The State of Vermont has the prestige of sending the first regiment 
under the new call of the president to the seat of war. * * * The 


The officers were dined at the Fifth Avenue Hotel by 
the " Sons of Vermont," and speeches were made, to which 
Colonel Stannardand Chaplain Dickinson responded. At four 
o'clock the regiment marched through Fifth Avenue, Nine- 
teenth street and Broadway to the North river, the men find- 
ing the sun hot and the knapsacks heavy. At the ferry Mr. 
Horace Greeley made them a patriotic speech from the wheel- 
house of the boat. Taking train at Jersey City, they arrived 
at Philadelphia at two o'clock a. m., and had breakfast at the 
Union Belief rooms. The regiment marched through Balti- 
more with loaded muskets ; and at ten p. M. reached Wash- 
ington, where it was quartered in the dirty barracks north of 
the Capitol. Here the regiment spent three days, during 
which time the Belgian muskets were exchanged for Spring- 
field rifles, and many men fell sick from poor food and worse 

It was now in the lull of fighting following the close of 
McClellan's Peninsular Campaign. General Pope had been 
assigned to the command of the Army of Virginia, and was 
in Washington directing the movements of the troops around 
the Capital and in the Shenandoah Valley. On the 19th 
Colonel Stannard was ordered to take his regiment across 
the Potomac, and report to General Sturgis, whose division 
was lying at Cloud's Mill, four miles west of Alexandria. The 
regiment started next morning. It was Sunday. The day was 
bright, the sun hot, the men unused to marching; and though 
the march was one of less than fifteen miles, they suffered se- 
verely. Hundreds threw away their knapsacks, which were 
gathered from the roadside and brought to camp by the 
wagons, and were returned to the men with an admonition 

march down Broadway was characterized by the greatest enthusiasm and 
we could not help imagining that the early days of the rebellion were upon 
us. Long and loud were the cheers that went up in encouragement of the 
soldiers who were hurrying to the defence of the government, now more 
than ever in danger. The Ninth Vermont is as fine a body of men as has 
yet left the State."— N. Y. Herald, July 17th, 1862. 


from the colonel that ii they threw them away again they 
would go without them. The stay at Cloud's Mill was short. 
On the 23d Colonel Stannard was ordered to report to Gen- 
eral A. S. Piatt, who with a small brigade was stationed at 
Winchester, which position he had been ordered to intrench 
and hold. He wanted reinforcements, and the Ninth was 
sent to him, to the disappointment of many of the men, 
who had hoped that they might join the First Vermont 
Brigade. The regiment marched to Alexandria on the 24th ; 
took boat to Washington ; lay in the hot sun during the af- 
ternoon ; took train in the evening ; spent the night in freight 
cars ; reached Harper's Ferry next day ; and after various de- 
tentions — one occasioned by the derailing of the train which 
conveyed the advance of the regiment — reached Winchester 
next day, and went into camp on the heights northeast of the 
town. A day or two after their arrival General Piatt was 
relieved by General Julius White, a capable and energetic 
officer. Here in "Camp Sigel" the regiment spent five 
weeks, largely occupied in thro^\ing up a bastioned fort, 
called Fort Sigel, with variations of picket duty, night 
alarms, and midnight marches to the rifle-pits. The hot 
days, cool nights and hard work sent many men to the 
hospital. During the first week in August, Surgeon Carpen- 
ter, who had just been released from duty with the Second 
regiment, joined the regiment, was warmly welcomed, and 
found enough to do. On the 9tli of August, Captain George 
H. Beebe of company F, the youngest officer in the line with 
one exception, and one of the most promising,' and Private 
Stephen Parker of the same company, died of dysentery, and 
other deaths followed. 

' Captain Beebe was a clerk in Burlington when the war broke out. 
He enlisted and served with credit in the First Regiment ; and was elected 
captain of the Chittenden County company of the Ninth, at its organiza- 
tion. He was a genial and spirited young officer, and a universal favorite. 
His remains were taken to Vermont and interred at his home in Highgate. 


The activity of the irregular Confederate cavah-y on all 
sides of General "White's force ; the capture and destruction 
by them of a railroad train between Winchester and Harper's 
Ferry, and other threatening indications, caused the work on. 
the fortifications at Winchester to be pressed with all vigor. 
Fort Sigel was soon so far finished as to have a flag-raising, 
and the stars aMd stripes were hoisted over it with due pa- 
rade and speech-making. The fort was armed with heavy 
siege guns, and the orchards and timber around it were 
cleared away, rifle-pits and abatis constructed, and the mag- 
azine filled Avith ammunition. The camp of the Ninth was 
moved close to the fort, Avhere ofliccrs and men wei'e stifled 
with dust ; and though there was a lack of experienced gun- 
ners, all felt fully able to hold the position against thrice 
their number. 

Soon after the middle of August, following the battle of 
Cedar Mountain, Lee began to press General Pope (whose 
headquarters were now at Culpeper) to the north ; and the 
sound of the artillery duel between Sigel and Jackson near 
Sulphur Springs, on the 24:tli, came distinctly through the 
gaps of the Blue Ridge to the ears of the troops at Winches- 
ter. On the 30tli and 31st Pope fought the second Bull 
Run. On the 1st of September he withdrew within the de- 
fences of Washington ; and on the 2d of September, in view 
of the certainty that Lee would throw a heavy force into the 
Shenandoah Valley, General White was ordered by General 
Halleck to remove his artillery or render it unserviceable, 
destroy his fortifications, and withdraw his command to Har- 
per's Ferry. His compliance with this order was hastened by 
a report, brought in by his scouts, that a Confederate column 
of 20,000 men was within twenty miles of him.' The guns 

' The scouting party which obtained this information was commanded 
by Major Stowell of the Ninth, who at this time was General White's chief 
of scouts. The party consisted of Major Stowell, Sergeant T. S. Peck, 
and 30 men in citi2icns' clothes. They went through Ashby's Gap to 
Paris, on the road to Salem. Learning that Jackson's advance was at Sa- 
lem, they returned, followed by Confederate cavalry, to Winchester. 


^'ere hastily dismounted aud spiked; all stores that could not 
be loaded in the wagons were piled with the tents, gun-car- 
riages and other combustibles, in readiness for the torch, and 
a train was laid to the magazine. The men witnessed these 
preparations and packed their knapsacks in deep bewilder- 
ment. At nine p. m. came the order to fall in, and at eleven 
the brigade moved away from the fort, in the darkness, leav- 
ing Captain Powell, U. S. Engineers, with some battery-men, 
to hre the stores, explode the magazine, and burn the army 
store-houses in Winchester. 

In this sudden departure the men who were too sick to 
march — some 40 in number — were left in hospital in Win- 
chester under the care of Surgeon Carpenter, who was in 
charge of the post hospital, in the semiitary building. Among 
those so left were Captain Lewis, company K ; Lieutenants 
Sherman and Jewett, company A, and Lieutenant Dartt, 
company D. Other invalids and convalescents, officers and 
men, staggered along with the column. It was a forced march 
of over thirty miles. When four or five miles on the way the 
explosion of the magazine of Fort Sigel thundered behind 
them, and the blaze of the burning store-houses in Winches- 
ter lit up the sky.' All night the column moved, the men 
needing little urging to keep the ranks closed up. At day- 
break they forded the Opequon, then running breast-high ; 
at seveto halted for a short rest, and at nine moved on again 
till four o'clock p. m., when they halted, exhausted and de- 
pressed, at Harper's Ferry. 

harper's ferry. 

The place was full of troops, increased by the arrival of 
AVhite's brigade to 11,500. General White ranked Colonel 
Miles, commanding the garrison, but waived his right to com- 

' The last man in the magazine was Private Charles H. Sweeney, of 
company H of the Ninth, who was on guard at the magazine and, under 
direction of Captain Powell, scattered powder thickly on the floor of the 
magazine and comiected the fuse by which it was exploded. 


mand, and under Miles's orders took charge of a force of 
4,000 men stationed at Martinsburg, ten miles northwest of 
Hai'per's Ferry. In a re-brigading of regiments, the Ninth 
Vermont now became part of a brigade commanded by Col- 
onel Trimble of the Sixtieth Ohio. 

Within twenty-four hours after the Ninth arrived at 
Harper's Ferry, Lee's army was crossing the Potomac into 
Maryland, ten miles below Haroer's Feny, and the gan-ison 
knew that they were cut off from Washington. For ten days 
the garrison waited in growing anxiety, while six divisions of 
the Confederate army were converging around them. That 
they were not withdrawn was the error of General Halleck, 
who to McClellan's request that Miles be withdrawn and sent 
to him, repUed that Miles was already so surrounded that it 
was impossible to withdraw him. That, however, was not the 
case. That the garrison was not marched out of its trap, to 
ground on which it could have held out till help came, was 
the fault of Colonel Miles. That no heljD came to save Miles, 
was, as has been already noted in the history of the First 
Brigade, owing to Wie tardiness of McClellan and Franklin. 
The omission of any one of this series of blunders would 
probably have saved the garrison from capture, and mad© 
Antietam something better than a drawn battle. 

Harper's Ferry, and the heights surrounding it, are di- 
vided into three parts by the confluence of tlie Shenandoah 
with the Potomac, at the point of an obtuse angle made by the 
latter. The heights on the Virginia side of the Potomac north 
of the Shenandoah are known as Bolivar Heights ; those on 
the Virginia side south of the Shenandoah, as Loudon 
Heights; those on the Maryland side, as Maryland Heights.* 

' " A man may travel far and wide in America without coming upon 
a lovelier spot than the heights above Harper's Ferry. The town itself is 
low and unattractive ; but one who stands above it may see the beautiful 
valley of Virginia extending far to the folded hills of the southwest. As 
he looks to the town the Loudon Heights rise boldly on hi's right, and be- 
tween him and them the Shenandoah — a stream that deserves the epithet 



to resist the weight of that army and execute the wishesof 
McClellan. This was the talk of every company mess, of 
every camp-lire of the Ninth Eegiment. The commonest 
soldier, sitting there and watching the clouds of dust down 
the river in Maryland, could see the inevitable disaster as 
Lee's Corps marched northward behind Maryland Heights, 
toward Autietam, between us and the Army of the Potomac. 

The morale of the regiment was good. We were con- 
scious of a peculiar and highly important duty to perform to 
our comrades of the Army of the Potomac, who were press- 
ing Lee to a decisive battle but a few miles away, and when, 
day by day, for ten days, we saw no work done, except a small 
amount of felling timber to extend the artillery range and 
afford an obstacle to cavahy, we grew critical and restless 
and on all sides we heard expressions of distrust in Miles's 
capacity or loyalty. Everything was going on in a listless, 
nerveless way, except that Colonel Staunard began a sharp 
and vigorous system of squad, company and regimental 
drill. This was the first opportunity we had had since en- 
tering the field to undertake any drill. Although on the eve 
of a great trial of our staunchness we were absolutely raw 
and undisciplined. 

Day by day the rebels were crowding in upon us, the 
beleaguering camp-fires stretching in a semi-circle around 
from the Shenandoah to the Potomac. We had established 
our camp on the southern slope of Bolivar Heights, with our 
right resting at the little redoubt w'here the CharlestoA\Ta 
Pike crosses them ; our color line just north of and running 
parallel with the pike. There was nothing to interrupt the 
anxious monotony, until Thursday the 11th, M'hen oiar work 
began in earnest as the skirmishing broke out on Maryland 
Heights, and from the plateau below we watched the lines of 
blue thin smoke as they advanced and retreated along its 
steep and woody slopes. 

McLaws's division was the first of the three columns sent 
by Lee to surround us, that made its presence felt. Its 
skirmishers felt of our position Thursday afternoon, its main 
line more seriously on Friday. On Saturday forenoon with 
indignation and foreboding we saw our troops slowly pushed 
off Marj'land Heights, Miles abandoning the key of the posi- 
tion to the enemy, instead of throwing us all over there, as 
we hoped and prayed might 1)e the decision. The roar of 
our batteries on Camp Hill and Maryland Heights was in- 
cessant, and there was a wicked waste of ammunition to little 


General Walker, witli his brigade, made Lis appearance 
far above our heads on the overhanging crest of Loudon 
Heights on Saturday afternoon, about the time that Mary- 
land Heights was given up. We had no grave apprehen- 
sions from his presence there, for it had been repeated over 
and over again that it was not in the range of human possi- 
bilities to get guns up tljose almost inaccessible heights ; so 
we laughed at their misspent exertions. 

From the West, on Thursday, came, driven in from 
Martinsbiirg by Jackson, General White's brigade, which 
bivouacked on the level plateau between us and the blutf 
dropping down into the Shenandoah. A. P. Hill's division 
pressed up closely on our left on Saturday afternoon, and 
the Ninth Vermont was sent out to resist his advances, to- 
gether with the Third Maryland. We held the line in the 
woods until dark with some fighting on our right. I was on 
the extreme left flank and my company, B, was deployed 
down the side of the bluff overhanging the river, the canal 
and the river road. As I was in a measure isolated in the 
darkness, the companies connecting on my right had orders 
to keep up a careful contact with us. After a while the 
firing on the right seemed to drop back as though our line 
had given way, and I heard a confusion to the right of our 
front. Creeping carefully up in the darkness I discovered 
our line gone and the rebels pushing m between me and it. 
Without an instant to spare, I whispered my orders to the 
men, and we slid silently down the slope and made our way 
within our new line by the bank of the* river, after we were 
supposed to have been cut off and captured. Upon this 
ground the enemy placed the two batteries, in the moi'uing, 
whose fire was so effective against Rigby's and Potts's bat- 

We lay out all night, and at daylight Sunday morning 
were brought into camp. A little later the right wing under 
Colonel Andross, was sent out to reinforce the picket line, 
and Colonel Stannard was detailed as general field-officer of 
the day for the command. 

No sooner had dawn broken over the mountain tops 
than we saw that the rebels had spent a busy night on Lou- 
don Heights and were working like beavers on batteries in 
two places. Immediately our batteries on Camp Hill opened 
an ineffectual fire on them. We watched them uneasily as 
our shell crawled slowly up toward them but never seeming 
to reach them, and asked each other anxiously can it be pos- 
sible they have succeeded in dragging guns up there. 


At about one o'clock in the afternoon Major Stowell and 
I were Ij'ing on our backs in the grass behind our tents 
watching our shell lift themselves up so wearisomely in their 
long flight toward the hostile working parties, when suddenly 
I saw two, three, four, half a dozen puffs of smoke burst out 
in the very centre of them, and we jumped to our feet, clapped 
our hands, and hurrahed in delight: "Our guns have the 
range, and the rebels have got to go." Suddenly, in the very 
centre of White's brigade, there was a crash, then another 
and another, and columns of dirt and smoke leaped into the 
air, as though a dozen young volcanoes had burst forth. 
Stowell caught the situation quicker than I, and exclaimed : 
" It's their guns ! " In an instant the bivouac turned into 
the appearance of a disturbed ant-hill. Artillery, infantry, 
and cavalry were mixed in an absurd and laughable melee, as 
the panic increased. The rebel batteries were now in most 
rapid play, and as the fugitives came streaming towards us, 
the shells followed them with unerring practice. All at once 
one dropped into our camp, and Stowell sprang up with the 
exclamation that it was getting to be no laughing matter and 
we had better be taking care of ourselves. Then in a cool and 
quiet way our four companies in camp fell into line, in their 
company streets ; and, as the shelling increased, at the word 
of command from Stowell, marched by the flank up the slope 
of Bolivar Heights, and lay down over the crest, where the 
shells skipped over our heads into the valley beyond. Again 
we laughed, but only for a moment, and for the last time in 
Harper's Ferry. We lay peering over at Loudon Heights, 
and with occasional scannings of the front at our left, where 
we could see the rebel lines moving in and out of the fringe 
of woods, and batteries going into action. Suddenly, imme- 
diately behind us, we heard new concussions shake the earth, 
and to our dismay, right across the open ground where the 
Shepherdstown road entered a fringe of woods, was an appall- 
ingly long bank of cannon smoke not over 1,000 yards away. 
We could plainly see the brass guns as they were run out of 
the woods. In an instant the air seemed alive with the ex- 
ploding shells. We were between two fires, and there was no 
shelter that would protect a rabbit. Of this attack the rebel 
general. Walker, commanding on Loudon Heights, says : 
"About an hour after my batteries opened fire, those of A. 
P. Hill and Lawton followed suit, and near three o'clock 
those of McLaws. But the range from Maryland Heights 
being too great, the fire of McLaws's guns was ineffective, the 
shells bursting in mid air. From my position on Loudon 


Heights my guns had a phinging fire on the Federal batteries 
a thousand feet below, and did great execution. By five 
o'clock our combined fire had silenced all the opposing bat- 

For a space of time that seemed to me interminable 
■we did the best we could by moving over from one slope tO' 
the other, to avoid the shell, and were miraculously pre- 
served. Later in the afternoon we were glad to get orders to 
march by the flank over to the left to help Colonel Downey, 
who was being driven in by the steady advance of A. P. Hill's 
division. Of this movement Colonel Trimble, commanding 
our brigade, in his evidence before the court of inquiry, con- 
vened to try General White for the surrender, says : " When 
I asked Colonel Willard to send his regiment, the One Hun- 
dred and Twenty-fifth New York, to support Colonel Dow- 
ney, he said it was no use to march that regiment to meet 
the enemy, they were so panic-stricken he could not hold 
them together to face the enemy ; and I was compelled to 
send Colonel Stannard with only four companies of his regi- 
ment to support Downey. There were portions of other regi- 
ments, I have ascertained since, that had already become 
panic-stricken and left." 

Stannard, as corps officer of the day, conducted us to 
Downey's support and though a very exposed movement it 
was executed as coolly and steadily as though we were vet- 
erans, and yet we were no more experienced than the other 
regiments who became terror-stricken and Colonel Willard 
was an experienced and gallant West Point officer. I do not 
believe the same number of men from any other Vermont 
regiment under the same fire and helpless exposure would 
have been more calm and undaunted. 

That night we could hear the rebels very busy across 
the Shenandoah exactly in rear of our left flank. We were 
withdrawn from Colonel Downey's line during the night, and 
lay in a young peach-orchard underneath and perhaps fifty 
yards from the guns of Eigby's battery, to support it from 
an attack along the Charlestown Pike. As far as the eye 
could reach in the circle, from the Shenandoah to the Poto- 
mac, was the lurid glare of Jackson's camp-fires, close up 
around us. The darkness of the night, with the protection 
it brought us, was so gratefid that we wished we might al- 
ways be enwrapped in it, so inevitable was the hopeless con- 
test to be forced on us with the first streak of dawn. At 
last it broke ; hea^^ fogs filled the valley, but they quickly 
rose and stood along the mountain side, enveloping the crest 


of Loudon Heights, but bringing into view tlie dreaded sight 
of the new batteries in the corn-tield across the river. 

Quoting General Walker again : " During the night of 
the 14th, Major B. Lindsay Walker, chief of artillery of Gen- 
eral A. P. Hill's division, succeeded in crossing the Shenan- 
doah with several batteries and placing them in such a posi- 
tion on the slope of Loudon mountain far below me, as to 
command the enemy's works. McLaws got his batteries 
into position nearer tlie enemy and at daybreak of the 15th 
the batteries of our five divisions were pouring their tire on 
the doomed garrison. The Federal batteries promptly re- 
plied and for more than an hour maintained a spirited fire, 
but after that it grew more and more feeble until about eight 
o'clock it ceased altogether, and the garrison surrendered." 

Probably no regiment there that morning was so terri- 
bly tried as the Ninth Vermont. The hottest fire of the 
enemy was concentrated on Rigby's and Potts's batteries. 
We were in a straight line between Rigby and the batteries 
across the Shenandoah, and in a straight line with Potts 
and the batteries on either side of the Charlestown Pike, and 
took much of the fire intended for each, while the sabots 
from Rigby's guns annoyed us not a little. There was not a 
tree-trunk in the orchard an inch in diameter, or with foliage 
enough to make a screen, and we lay on our faces plainly 
exposed to at least three batteries. All we could do was to 
lie still and wait till these batteries got the range on us and 
then Stannard would coolly jump us up and throw us for- 
ward at a double-quick as far as he could move to the front 
and then drop us flat again. When they got this range, we 
would jump up and double-quick back under Eigby's guns. 
In this way the regiment was most skillfully preserved from 
a heavy loss. The movement could never have been made 
and so often repeated except under a cool, indomitable and 
trusted commander like Stannard, and with a [command 
made of the sanae hearts of oak and ribs of steel that made 
the old brigade. 

Rebel and Union testimony since given, confirm my 
memory that nine batteries played on us during those two 
long hours, with not less than fifty guns, to which we replied 
with an equal number, making one hundred guns crashing 
and reverberating against the sides of those encircling walls. 
We were as helpless as rats in a cage, and when the long- 
range ammunition suddenly gave out and A. P. Hill's long 
lines of battle emerged from the woods for the assault, Col- 
onel Miles's heart failed him for the men he had so badly 


handled, and he gave up the contest to spare a needless 
slaughter. Taking out his pocket handkerchief and ordering 
his staff to do the same he rode up into a prominent place 
on the extreme east end of Bolivar Heights, nearly a mile 
away from us and waved it, and then rode along the crest 
toward us. The valley was much shut in again with fog and 
cannon-smoke, and the rebels recognized the white flag but 
sloAvly — one battery after another, however, ceasing firing 
as ours ceased. The last to surrender was Rigby, who kept 
pounding away and held his colors up after word had reached 
him to haul them down, swearing that if the enemy wanted 
his battery and his colors they must take them. 

When the word reached us that the white flag had gone 
up Stannard jumped up and swore a bitter oath that he would 
never surrender without a struggle. At his command, we sprang 
into line, and rushed at a double-quick step down the ra- 
vine to the river road and thence into town, making for the pon- 
ton bridge across into Maryland, with the determination to 
risk the fire of the Maryland and Loudon batteries in cross- 
ing it, hoping that once across we could by a bold dash cut 
our way into McClellan's lines. But Hill had advanced his 
lines of battle, so that they occupied our camp before we got 
to the village, and when we were missed from the line Gener- 
al White sent one of his own and General Hill's aids to inter- 
cept us and bring us back. They caught us as we were 
breathlessly entering the head of the ponton bridge. At first 
Stannard refused to obey the order, but upon being im- 
pressed with the penalties which would be inflicted upon the 
other troops by his attempt to violate the terms of surrender, 
he yielded with anguish of heart. 

While this altercation was going on, I well remember 
standing with a group of officers about the colors, hurriedly 
debating what it was best to do with them. I remember tak- 
ing them from the staff'; I remember trying to crowd the men 
around so as to hide what we were doing from the rebel aid ; 
I remember big, handsome Color-Sergeant Quinn of company 
I, as he helped take them off; I furnished a knife ; I remem- 
ber a proposition to wind them around his body, and the re- 
mark that there Avas where the flag would first be looked for. 
Then a proposition was made to cut them up and divide 
them, as souvenirs, to keep them out of the hands of the en- 
emy. I can look back through these twenty-four years and 
see the picture of all this — the street, the bank of the stream, 
the mounted aids, the regiment at the halt, the excited 
group about the colors. I have always supposed this was 


what became of the colors, because I certainly got my share 
of them, carried the pieces in my pocket all through the war 
to its end, and have them sacredly preserved as I write. 
When, years after the close of the war, the colors of the 
Ninth Vermont were discovered among those found in the 
rebel archives in Richmond and brought thence to Washing- 
ton, it was a startling as well as an inexplicable mystery to 
me. I would swear that I saw those colors slit up ; but it 
is probable this was not wholly done and the remnant fell 
into rebel hands. AVe marched back, reaching Bolivar 
Heights to find tbe surrender over and a long and melancholy 
row of stacked arms along its crest, and the troops all dis- 
missed to their camps. We added our arms to the stacks, 
and then entered our camp, to find it full of rebels, who were 
pillaging it freely in spite of the terms of surrender. 

A group of mounted ofiicers sat on their horses in the 
road in front of the street of company E. It began to be 
wdiispered about that the one with full and sandy beard was 
the redoubtable Stonewall Jackson. We stood on the side, 
watching him and not knowing whether to resent the intru- 
sion of his men or not. Suddenly, I saw Lieutenant Quimby 
of company E, a hot-headed, bold fellow, stride out of his 
street down to the side of Jackson's horse, and say : " Are 
you Stonewall Jackson?" Jackson replied, " Yes." Then 
said Quimby, " Did you not agree to protect us under the 
terms of the surrender? " " Yes," said Jackson. "Then, by 
God, sir," said Quimby, " I want you to drive these lousy 
thieves of yours out of my camp and stop them robbing my 
men." We were terror-stricken at Quimby's rage and audac- 
ity, and looked for a scene ; but Jackson said quietly : " This 
is all wrong and I will see it stopped," and turning to one of 
his staff he sent him to order the men out of our camp ; but 
this was not done until much damage and loss was inflicted 
upon us. Lieutenant Samuel Kelley of company B was made 
to give up his sabre to one of A. P. Hill's stafi", in violation of 
the terms, and the officer strapped his own sabre to his 
saddle. After a while he dismounted, and leaving his horse 
with his orderly, the boys of company B watched their chance 
and stole the sabre, and Kelley wore it to the close of the 
war and brought it home. It was a finer one than his own. 

That night I lay by the side of the road and saw all night 
long the grimy columns of McLaws, Anderson and Walker 
come pouring up through from the ponton bridge, hurrying 
with mad haste to reach Lee at Antietam by the way of 
Shepherdstown ford. It was a never-to-be-forgotten night, 


and the memory of the unceasing, fast-shuflEiing feet, the 
rumbling of the batteries, the clinking of canteens, and the 
jingling of sabres, the spectral and ghostly look of the col- 
umn as it voicelessly crowded on in the darkness, will never 
be erased. The next day we took up our unhappy march 
across Maryland, en route for Annapolis. 

Few disasters of the war exceed that of Harper's Ferry 
in the folly which caused it. Miles was a man of indolent 
habits and loose principles, with a mind enervated by past 
and possibly continued self-indulgence, — on this there is con- 
flicting evidence. His loyalty, if not positively lukewarm, was 
of the kind that never showed energy enough to injure the 
rebel cause, and he was too proud as an old West Point offi- 
cer to seek and follow the advice of his volunteer officers, 
several of whom could have carried the defence of the place 
to a brilliant issue. 

Two men of my company, B, Joseph Graham and Daniel 
Sullivan, happened to be on duty at the point where Colonel 
Miles was killed, and helped put him in a blanket and 
carry him down toward Rigby's battery, where an ambulance 
could reach him. From them I often heard, that as they 
bore him along and neared that battery, which Rigby was 
still fighting, and saw Eigby's colors still flaunting his defi- 
ance to the enemy. Miles exclaimed to his aid : " Why don't 
they haul down that God-damned flag — it has been the death 
of me ?" On the other hand there is sworn evidence that he 
said on his death-bed to an ofiicer who called on him : "It 
is a fit way for an old soldier who has tried to serve his coun- 
try to die, and I am contented." 

Had General Julius White, or Colonel George J. Stan- 
nard, or Colonel Willard had the command of the defense. 
Harper's Ferry would have furnished one of the most bril- 
liant pages in the history of the war. It would have been 
held, beyond any doubt, for they would have thrown the en- 
tire garrison on Maryland Heights and endured a short siege 
in the very sight of McClellan's army. Lee, with Longstreet, 
D. H. Hill, McLaws and Stuart alone in Maryland, would 
have been crushed out before he could reach the Potomac, 
and Stonewall Jackson and Walker^ the sole survivors, would 
have fallen back on Winchester, to open Richmond to Mc- 
Clellan by the shorter route, and the war would have ended 
that summer. 

The Court of Inquiry censured McClellan for his want of 
energy in relieving us ; censured General Wool for his folly in 
selecting so incapable an ofiicer as Miles for so important a 


duty ; and should have censured Franklin for not pushing up 
his success on Sunday afternoon instead of going into camp 
and waiting to complete his work Monday morning, when it 
was too late. Franklin could have reached us Sunday night 
had he been a Sheridan. He had Captain Russell with him, 
who had forced his way out of our lines to tell him to hurry, 
and that we could hold out but a few hours longer. The court 
complimented General White justly for his services; they 
were gallant, patriotic and self-denying under trying circum- 
stances ; but in one particular mistaken, — he should have 
claimed his rank and command. 

In looking back to the scenes there enacted, assisted in 
my judgment by our experience of the succeeding three years^ 
I am, as I was then, entirely satisfied with the part borne by 
the Ninth Vermont regiment. We were doomed so long as 
Miles lived. Had he been killed by the first shell instead of 
the last, there would have been an instant change in the plan 
of the defense and we should have been saved. The Ninth 
was cool, steadfast, willing, more than that, always eager for 
the struggle from which we were held back. Stannard was 
urgent to go up and defend Loudon Heights, and was denied. 
After Ford so shamefully abandoned Maryland Heights, 
Stannard on Sunday morning said vehemently to Colonel 
Miles in the presence of a group of officers : " Let me go 
and retake them and I will guarantee to hold them. I do not 
ask you to send any other regiment with me, though I shall 
be glad to have some of these gentlemen go with me ; give 
me some guns, and the Ninth Vermont will answer to you for 
those heights." Does any man who ever saw Stannard make 
his pledge to carry a line believe for an instant that he 
would have failed to keep this one, or that his regiment 
would have been far behind him in scaling the ridge ? There 
were regiments there to whom the thoughts of Harper's 
Ferry should forever bring a blush of shame ; .but no man of 
the Ninth Vermont can ever but exult that in that first de- 
moralizing baptism of fire, they stood as a rock. 

This comprehensive narrative is confirmed on all material 
points by General Stannard. In a careful statement, pre- 
pared for the historian by the latter, he says that before the 
investment of Harper's Ferry he had repeated interviews 
with Colonel Miles, in which he urged him, among other 
things, to fell the woods west of Bolivar Heights — to which 
Miles objected, saying that the troops were too tired for such 


•work and that it was too bad for the farmers to lose their 
timber. He (Stannard) then urged the occupation of Loudon 
Heights, which he had inspected in person, offering to take 
his own regiment and a battery and be responsible for the 
holding of that important position ; but Miles made light both 
of the argument and offer, insisting that Loudon Heights 
were neither accessible nor tenable, and in general expressing 
his .belief that Harper's Ferry would not be attacked, as it 
was not of sufficient consequence to the enemy to warrant 
any delay of his movement into Maryland. Stannard says 
that when he learned that the cavalry would leave Harper's 
Ferry Saturday night, he asked for permission to take his 
own regiment out at the same time. To this Miles objected 
that his pickets would not permit the infantry to pass out. 
Upon Stannard's replying that he would take possession of 
the picket line with his own men and was ready to take his 
chances of getting out. Miles became excited, used " very 
strong language," swung his sabre in the air, and ended all 
further discussion by saying that he had been forty years in 
the army and did not care to be lectured by one who had 
been a soldier but a few months. Stannard further says that 
on Saturday, the 13th, some Confederate soldiers who had 
been held as jjrisoners for some days at Harper's Ferry, ap- 
peared at Stannard's picket line, he being field-oflficer of the 
day, and announced that they had been paroled and were to 
be permitted to pass outside the Union lines. As the enemy 
were then close in front, and as Stannard knew that these 
men had been to and fro among the camps and were familiar 
with the number and locations of the troops of the garrison, 
he declined to pass them out and held them under guard till 
just before dark, when a staff officer came with a written order 
from General Miles to pass the prisoners out. This order 
was reluctantly obeyed by Stannard. It is not surprising in 
view of such facts that he and the Yermonters generally held 
the opinion that Miles was a traitor. They may have been 


mistaken, however. General White, whose opinion ought to 
be of value, characterizes Colonel Miles's conduct as that of 
*' a brave and loyal officer." 

The feeling of mingled surj^rise, anger and sorrow -with 
which the surrender was received by the men can be better 
imagined than described. Strong men shed tears, some be- 
gan to destroy their arms, till stopped by stern orders. 
Others submitted in sullen silence ; all were indignant almost 
beyond expression. 

The fighting on the extreme left, in which the Ninth 
was engaged in repulsing Archer's brigade of A. P. Hill's 
division, on the evening of the 14th, is worthy of additional 
note. General White says of this : "Late in the afternoon 
a division of the enemy, under General A. P. Hill, made an 
assault upon the extreme left, advancing with great spirit. 
Colonel Miles not being present, I took command for the 
time and ordered the Ninth Vermont to support Colonel 
Downey [commanding a battalion of Maryland infantry] and 
subsequently reinforced them with the Thirty-second Ohio 
and one section of Captain Eigby's battery. The attack 
continued till after dark, — the firing being very sharp, and 
the troops engaged behaving very handsomely — when the 
enemy was repulsed." The portion of the Ninth concerned 
in this repulse fired over twenty rounds, and the conduct of 
the Vermonters there, as throughout the whole affair, was 
highly approved by General White, who in his report men- 
tions as " distinguished for their gallantry" Colonel Stan- 
nard, Lieut. Colonel Andross and Major Stowell of the 
Ninth Vermont — " a regiment," he adds, " though but just 
enrolled, whose conduct was worthy of veterans." 

A few additional incidents of the surrender may be 
added : Captain Branch, then a corporal in company C, 
says : "A rebel officer rode up to our lieutenant colonel, 
who was riding a beautiful bay horse which the citizens of 
Bradford gave him when he went to the war, and said : 


" Colonel I will exchange horses with you." Andross with 
tears in his eyes dismounted, exchanged his good horse for 
a poor old bob-tailed black mare, and as the regiment stood 
in line (having stacked arms) rode up and down, driving his 
Mexican spu^rs into the flanks of his beast, and ordering her 

with a twitch on the bridle to " Get up here, you 

Southern Confederacy ! " Complaint being made to General 
Jackson, and under his orders to respect the private prop- 
erty of the officers, the lieutenant colonel's horse was re- 
turned to him and in due time he was riding ' Frank ' 

To some of the officers of the Ninth, who were ruefully 
contemplating the prospect of a march to Richmond, a Con- 
federate chaplain said, by way of comfort: "God's will 
must be done." "Yes," replied Andross, "but you will find 
that God's will will change in about twenty-four hours ; " — 
and the prophecy was remembered after Lee's retreat from 

In the cavalry column which made its way out of Har- 
per's Ferry the night before the surrender, was a company of 
young Vermonters, who while students in Norwich Univers- 
ity and Dartmouth College had enlisted in the First Rhode 
Island cavalry. They had an exciting experience. Pushing 
out across the mountains into Maryland, under cover of the 
night, they struck some of the enemy's pickets, which were 
brushed out of the way. Next they received a volley from a 
body of Longstreet's infantry, at the point where the Hagers- 
town road enters the village of Sharpsburg. Recoiling here 
and making a detour they next struck and pushed through 
the lines of Longstreet's corps, in bivouac near by. Finally 
in the early morning they came upon and captured one of 
Longstreet's ammunition trains, of 85 wagons, and brought 
it into the Union lines at Greencastle, Pa., where the column 
arrived that forenoon. In a letter to Mr. S. B. PettengiU 
of Grafton, Yt., who was one of the company, quoted by 


him in bis monograph, " The College Cavaliers," General 
Longstreet said of this capture : " The service you refer to 
was very creditable and gave us much inconvenience." 

The Ninth Yermont did not lay down its arms till about 
two hours after the general surrender, and was the last regi- 
ment to surrender at Harper's Ferry. 

The varying reports heretofore current as to what be- 
came of the State colors of the regiment, illustrate the con- 
tradictions and uncertainties which perplex and burden the 
military historian. The officers and men of the Ninth, with 
hardly an exception, were confident that the State colors 
were not surrendered with their arms, and it was on the 
strength of such belief that Adjutant General Washburn 
made the statement, often afterwards repeated, that no flag 
bearing the arms of Yermont was ever left in the hands of 
the enemy.' When the writer of these pages sought answer 
to the inquiry : "How did the State colors escape capture? " 
the replies varied. General Stannard's reply was that the 
flag was cut from the staff by the color-sergeant, who 
carried it off under his blouse. General Bipley, Captain 
Peck and others answered that it was torn into strips and 
distributed among the officers. Captain Kilbourne, acting 
adjutant at the time, believed that the colors were wrapped 
around some side-arms belonging to himself and one or tAvo 
other officers and thrown into the river. Either account was 
entirely credible had there been no others, and one of the 
three would undoubtedly have been accepted as correct, but 
for the fact that among the Union flags found in the Confed- 
erate War Department at Richmond after the fall of that 
city, and sent thence to Washington and preserved by the 
United States War Department, the writer of this history 

' " Our fathers inscribed upon the banner of the State of Vermont, the 
motto: "Freedom and Unity!" Time and again have the men of the 
State flaunted the banner bearing that motto in the faces of defiant rebels ; 
never once has it been left in their possession." — General Washburn's Ad- 
dress before the Reunion Society of Vermont Officers, October, 1868. 


found the State colors of the Ninth Vermont ! The flag, sub- 
stantially entire, was subsequently sent to Vermont at the 
request of the Governor, and is among the other flags pre- 
served in the State House. The inference is unavoidable 
that the flag, the tearing up of which General Kipley re- 
members so distinctly, was some other flag— -perhaps the 
national colors of the regiment. 

The inability to hold or transport to Richmond so large 
a number of Union captives, compelled Jackson to parole 
and discharge his prisoners without delay — a process consid- 
erably retarded in the case of the Ninth, however, by Stan- 
nard, who refused to give his parole for his regiment, and 
insisted that each soldier must give his own parole. This 
proceeding delayed their captors for some hours. All that 
Monday night Jackson's legions were marching past the camp 
of the Ninth, on their way to Sharpsburg. Next morning the 
Ninth was supplied with a day's rations and ordered to start 
for the parole camp at Annapolis. The problem how to obtain 
transportation for the baggage and private property of the 
ofiicers was solved by Adjutant Stearns, who at the time was 
acting commissary of subsistence on the brigade staff. He 
went boldly to General A. P. Hill, who was left in com- 
mand at Harper's Ferry ; represented to him that the per- 
mission to retain private property was valueless without some 
means to remove it, and used his powers of argument and 
persuasion so successfully that Hill gave him an order for six 
wagons and teams, on his word of honor that they should be 
returned to the Confederate lines nearest to Annapolis. 
Stearns accordingly selected six good six-horse teams from 
the wagon train of the Ninth Vermont, and held them in 
spite of the remonstrance of a Confederate officer, who de- 
clared it to be "pretty business giving wagons to the Feds 
when we need them all, and more too." The teams did good 
service, the wagons serving as ambulances for the sick men 
on the march, as well as conveying all the baggage of the 


brigade. At Annapolis they were turned over to Captain G. 
S. Blodgett, A. Q. M., by whom they were returned to the 
Confederate lines. 

After the plundering immediately following the surren- 
der was stopped, there was little to complain of in the treat- 
ment accorded to the Union troops.' When the order came 
to start, the regiments marched down to the ponton bridge 
crossing into Maryland, past a line of Virginia planters ar- 
rayed on the bank, watching for negroes who might try to 
escape with the troops. All such were at once claimed and 
dragged from the ranks. In one case a dark-complexioned 
soldier of the Ninth was claimed and collared by a planter; 
who discovered his mistake when the soldier's arm shot out. 
The claimant measured his length on the ground, and arose 
in great wrath ; but the man easily established his member- 
ship of the regiment, and passed on with it, unmolested. 

Lieutenant Ballard was left sick in hospital in Harper's 


The sick men left in Winchester, remained in hospital — 
where they were robbed by Jackson's infantry of all they had 
worth taking — under the watchful care of Surgeon Carpen- 
ter, till they became convalescent, and then were paroled in 
squads and sent to the Union lines. After the battle of An- 
tietam, Winchester was filled with Confederate wounded, to 
whom Dr. Carpenter tendered his assistance, till he found 
that even his professional services were regarded with sus- 
picion, after which discovery he confined his attention to 
the prisoners. He was kept in Winchester by General Stuart, 
who occupied the town after Jackson's departure, till any 
knowledge he had gained of the Confederate movements 
would be of no value, and then, with the convalescent ofii- 
cers, was permitted to pass north to the Union lines. They 

' " We were placed under guard of General Branch's division and were 
treated very kindly by General Branch and his command, who evinced 
mach sorrow for us." — Colonel Stannard. 


went via Harper's Ferry and Washington to Annapolis, and 
finally joined the regiment at Chicago. 

The march of the regiment to Annapolis began on the 
16th of September, and occupied five days. It was not a tri- 
umphal procession. The men were without tents and but few 
had blankets, and rations were poor and scanty. The only 
comfort about it was that it was not toward Libby prison. 
Near Frederick the column met crowds of stragglers of Mc- 
Clellan's army, and among them several men of the First 
Vermont brigade, following the army to Antietam ; and next 
day, the 17th, the roar of the battle there came plainly to 
their ears. Stannard allowed no wandering from the ranks, 
on the march, and the regiment moved in noticeably better 
shape than most of the paroled regiments.* It averaged 
twenty miles a day, and the last hot day mad© twenty-three 
miles, arriving at Annapolis Sunday, the 21st, at 6 p. m. 

The footsore men were glad to halt and go into camp, 
though there was scanty shelter for the 10,000 paroled pris- 
oners now collected there, and no comfort in the old camps, 
filled with vermin, in which they were quartered. A fresh 
disappointment came in the news that they were to be sent 
to a parole camp at Chicago, instead of being allowed, as 
they had hoped, to return to Vermont until exchanged. 
They stayed in Annapolis but three days. On the 25th they 
took boat to Baltimore and thence went by train to Chicago. 
The railroad journey through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois was 
solaced by the hospitality of the people, who brought refresh- 
ments to the stations. At Fort Wayne the citizens left their 
church service to feed the soldiers. 


At 9 p. u. of the 28th, the regiment arrived at Chicago, 
and bivouacked in a grove near the grave of Stephen A. 

' " We have kept up a splendid column, and have not more than twen- 
ty stragglers, while every other regiment is sprawled from Frederick to 
Baltimore." — Army letter from a captain of the Ninth. 


Douglas, for the most part without shelter from the rain, 
which fell heavily, though a few of the men found refuge in 
neighboring barns. Next day the regiment marched to the 
Agricultural Fair ground, which had been assigned as quar- 
ters for the brigade, and was quartered in the horse stalls, 
which when cleaned and deodorized and supplied with fresh 
straw, made fairly comfortable quarters, in dry ^feather. In 
wet weather the rain came freely through the unbattened 
roofs. The officers took their meals at The Arcade, a small 
hotel close by. In this camp some 2,000 men were quartered, 
under command of General Tyler, from whom the camp was 
named. A much larger number were in parole camp at Camp 
Douglas, a quarter of a mile away. Soon after his arrival at 
Chicago, Colonel Stannard was assigned to the command of 
the third detachment of paroled troops, of which the Ninth 
formed a part, while Lieut. Colonel Andross took command 
of the regiment. The officers, of all grades, had their hands 
full in the endeavor to maintain some degree of order and 
preserve the command from utter demoralization. 

The regiment spent a gloomy mouth in Camp Tyler. 
Many of the men were insubordinate, holding that they were 
Stonewall Jackson's prisoners until exchanged, and so not 
obliged to obey any orders except from him. 'Small-pox, 
measles, malarial fevers and jaundice prevailed. Over 100 
men were soon in hospital or sick in their quarters. Deaths 
occurred in every company and desertions were numerous. 
The rations were poor and the supply of firewood so scanty 
that the troops tore down for fuel the fair-ground fence and 
judges' stand. Kumors that they were to be exchanged and 
that the regiment was to be sent to Minnesota to fight the 
Indians — a change which would have been eagerly welcomed 
— proved fake. Camp guard and an occasional regimental 
inspection were the chief duties. The Vermonters residing 
in Chicago were attentive and hospitable, and passes were 
freely given to the well-behaved men to visit the city; but it 


■was hard for them to find cheer in anything. They chafed 
and grew demoralized under their exclusion from active ser- 
vice. The contagion of disorder and incendiarism which 
prevailed at Camp Douglas, spread to Camp Tyler, and on 
the night of October 12th the guard house was burned by 
some men of a New York regiment. The fire spread to the 
company quarters of the Ninth, and those of companies B 
and C were burned, some of the men losing all their cloth- 
ing, of which there had been a new issue, except what they 
had on their persons. The Vermont troops were considered 
among the most orderly in the camps, and were sometimes 
sent for, from Camp Douglas, to help maintain order there. 
On one occasion a guard of 125 men of the Ninth, under 
Major Stowell, was so sent, and was sharply pelted with 
stones, after dark, by some of the paroled men of other States. 

On the 1st of November the regiment left the horse-stalls 
for winter quarters at Camp Douglas. ' Here it found com- 
fortable barracks, with sufiicient supplies of fuel and cloth- 
ing, and here it remained through the winter. 

On the 1st of January, 1863, the morning report showed 
an aggregate of 704, of whom 147 were sick and 21 " absent 
without leave." The regiment had lost since its arrival in 
Chicago, by death, discharge and desertion in about equal" 
proportions, 170 men. Its number was further reduced, 
during the month, by the eflbrts of government recruiting 
officers, who appeared in camp with authority to enlist ten 
men from each company of the volunteer regiments into the 
regular army, to be transferred as soon as exchanged. The 
prospect of such further depletion of the force of the regi- 
ment was intensely displeasing to its officers, and in conjunc- 
tion with the officers of the Sixty-fifth Illinois, Colonel Cam- 
eron, they addressed a strong memorial to Congress, protest- 
ing against the action of the War Department as being in vio- 
lation of the articles of war, and as an indignity upon the 
volunteer service. This, however, had no eflect, and about a 



hundred men of the Ninth enlisted and were transferred into 
the regular army. 

On the 10th of January the regiment was exchanged and 
armed -with new Enfield rifles, and the men were glad 
enough to get muskets into their hands again. The spirit of 
the regiment revived, company and battalion drills were re- 
sumed with spirit, and Lieutenant Peck of company C had a 
large class in bayonet exercise and " zouave drill." Confi- 
dence that they would soon return to the field was now high, 
till it was destroyed by the arrival at Camp Douglas, on the 
26th of January, of 4,000 Confederate soldiers, captured at 
Murfreesboro and Arkansas Post — to which number 3,000 
more were shortly added — and by the announcement that the 
Ninth were to remain to help guard the prisoners. The 
post was now under command of General Jacob Ammen, 
who had relieved General Tyler in command. He was a 
trained soldier ; and under the stricter discipline enforced by 
him, the morale of the regiment rapidly improved. Two 
Illinois regiments, the Sixty-fifth and One Hundred and 
Fourth, were associated with the Ninth in the custody of the 
Confederates, the daily details for camp guard being 250 men 
and ten line officers. The Union troops were penned with 
the prisoners within a tight and high board fence, and the 
guards were about as much prisoners as the " Johnnies." 
The care of these was far from pleasant duty. They were as 
well fed and as comfortably quartered as their guards ; but a 
large proportion of them were ill-clad, uncleanly, and sickly. 
The small-pox ran through their ranks, and under the change 
of diet, unaccustomed climate, with the mercury sometimes 
at 20° below zero, and inaction of their life in confinement, 
they sickened and died by hundreds, in spite of all the eftbrts 
of their surgeons. The sight of four sallow men, clad in but- 
ternut, bearing the corpse of a comrade to the dead-house, 
was an almost hourly spectacle. The majority of them were 
Texas and Arkansas troops ; but they comprised natives of 


nearly every State, Vermont not excepted. They were gen- 
erally obedient and quiet, and many of tliem glad to be where; 
they were, rather than in the field.' 

Various changes among the line officers took place dur- 
ing the stay of the regiment in Chicago. Second Lieutenant 
Dartt of comapny D, left sick with pneumonia in hospi- 
tal at Winchester, rallied on the brink of the grave ; but 
did not return to the regiment, and resigned, in enfeebled 
health, in November. Sergeant C. W. Haskell was thereupon 
promoted to be second lieutenant. Captain A. R. Sabin of 
company C resigned in December, and was succeeded by 
Lieutenant Herman Seligson, and Sergeant James F. Bolton 
was commissioned as fii'st lieutenant. Captain A. H. Slayton, 
company H, resigned in December, and was succeeded by 
Lieutenant G. H. Guyer, who resigned in February, and was 
succeeded by Lieutenant L. H. Bisbee.'^ Second Lieutenant 
J. T. Gorham became first lieutenant, vice Bisbee promoted. 
Second Lieutenant C. R. Loveland of the same company re- 
signed in March, and was succeeded by Sergeant Stillman 
Stone. Second Lieutenant O. C. Campbell, company I, re- 
signed in December, and was succeeded by Sergeant A. P. 
Vaughn. In January, Q. M. Sergeant T. S. Peck was pro- 
moted to be second lieutenant of company C, vice E. B. Sher- 
man, resigned. In February, Captain W. J. Henderson, 
company G, resigned and was succeeded by Lieutenant E. 
A. Kilbourue. 

' ' ' Every State in the Confederacy is represented among our butternut 
friends, and with them are Indians, negroes, Mexicans, half-breeds, and 
octoroons — a motley group, ragged, dirty, and covered with vermin. Their 
clothes are a mixture of cotton and wool, dyed in oak-bark. Some are 
minus hats, some shoes, some coats ; their blankets are red, white, black, 
brown, or bed-quilts of as many colors as Joseph's coat. They look as 
though they were clothed in sack-cloth and ashes, doing penance for 
their sins. Their bill of mortality averages almost fifteen per day. One 
thousand are receiving medical treatment." — Army Letter from Camp 

^ Lieutenant Guyer returned to the service as a lieutenant in the Seven- 
teenth Vermont, and fell in battle, before Petersburg. 


In March important changes took place among the field 
and staff ofiicers. On the 11th of that month Colonel Stan- 
nard was promoted to be brigadier goneral, and assigned to 
the command of the Second Vermont Brigade. He left the 
regiment a few days later, carrying with him the high respect 
and esteem of officers and men, which took tangible shape 
in the presentation to him by the officers of a fine horse, of 
"Post Boy" stock, which General Stannard rode during the 
remainder of his service and kept until the noble animal died 
of old age, many years after the close of the war. The rank 
and file of the regiment added a handsome set of equipments. 
Upon Stannard's promotion, which was accepted as testimony 
that neither he nor his regiment was considered to have been 
disgraced by their surrender, Lieut. Colonel Andross was 
commissioned as colonel.' Major E. S. Stowell was there- 
upon promoted to be lieutenant colonel, and Captain Edward 
H. Ripley of company B,— the youngest captain in the line 
— was appointed major. Assistant Surgeon Hall resigned 
about this time. 

An end at last came to the tedious and inglorious stay 
of the Ninth at Chicago. On the 28tli of March the regiment 

' Dudley Kimball Andross was a native of Bradford, and of pioneer 
Vermont stock, one of his great-grandfathers, Bildad Andross, having 
been an early settler in that town and a member of the first convention 
which met to organize the commonwealth of Vermont, and another. Cap- 
tain Broadstreet Spafford, having been the first settler in Fairfax, in 1783. 
His great-uncle, Obadiah Kimball, was killed in the Battle of Bennington. 
He had been a lumberman in his youth ; then a railroad builder, as such 
helping to lay the first rail of the Rutland and Burlington railroad ; and after- 
wards a gold-miner in California. When the war broke out he was in 
business as a miller in Bradford, and was a lieutenant of the Bradford 
company of militia. In the re-organization of this for service, upon the first 
call for troops in April, 1861, Lieutenant Andross was elected captain, and 
served as such with the First Vermont throughout its term. He was con- 
sidered one of the best captains in that regiment. He returned to the army 
as lieutenant colonel of the Ninth. He was now in his 39th year, tall, 
straight and soldierly ; rough in his ways, but kind in deeds ; and a favor- 
ite with the men, whom he had commanded most of the winter. Colonel 
Stannard commanding the brigade of several regiments of paroled troops^ 


"was ordered to escort 2,500 of the Confederate prisoners to 
City Point, Va., for exchange. They were to be forwarded 
in five installments, each guarded by two coropanies of the 
Ninth. The regiment accordingly left Chicago by piece-meal 
between the 30th of March and 2d of April. The regiment 
on the 1st of April had 502 men reported for duty ; and, 
subtracting those absent on furloughs and details, about 400 
efficient men bade good bye at this time to Camp Douglas. 
Sixty were left behind in hospital and fifty had yielded to dis- 
ease in the Chicago camps and found graves on the shore of 
Lake Michigan. The detachments went with their charges 
by way of Fort Wayne, Pittsburg and Harrisburg to Balti- 
more, and thence by steamer to Fortress Monroe and up the 
James to City Point, the journey occupying a week. At City 
Point the exchanged Texans, strong, fat and fit for immedi- 
ate service, were sent within the Confederate lines, and the 
steamers brought back to Fortress Monroe as many lean, 
hungry and half-naked men, released from the Confederate 
prisons, many of whom had been stripped of shoes and blan- 
kets on their way from Richmond to City Point. 

On the 9th of April the regiment was concentrated at 
Fortress Monroe, with the exception of two companies which 
arrived later; reported to General Dix, commanding the 
Seventh Corps ; and went into camp at Camp Hamilton across 
the Hampton river, within ten rods of the spot wdiere the 
First Vermont regiment camped two years before. 

The armies of Hooker and Lee were then facing each 
other across the Rappahannock at Fredericksburg. General 
Dix was in command at Fortress Monroe. Norfolk was held 
by the Union naval and land forces ; and at Suflfolk, eighteen 
or twenty miles southwest of Norfolk, was a heavy force 
under Major General John Peck. Suffolk was a small 
village, but an important position, being at the head of the 
navigable portion of the Nansemond river, and at the crossing 
of the railroads connecting respectively Petersburg and Nor- 


folk, and Portsmouth and Weldon, N. C. General Peck's 
command liere covered the landward approaches to Norfolk. 
He had fortified the line of the Nansemond for eight miles 
and was picketing a line to the Dismal Swamp. During the 
stay of operations on the Rappahannock, while Hooker was 
preparing for his Chancellorsville campaign. General Lee 
sent an expedition against Suffolk, hoping by thus threaten- 
ing Norfolk to cause a heavy detaching of troops from Hook- 
er's army. The expedition, which comprised three divisions 
under Longstreet, moved by way of Petersburg to the line of 
the Blackwater, a few miles west of Suffolk, and the corps of 
General D. H. Hill was brought up from North Carolina to 
co-operate. In consequence of this movement General Peck 
had been reinforced in March by Getty's division of the 
Ninth Corps. 

On the 12 th of April Longstreet began to press upon 
Peck's lines, and there was heavy skirmishing that day and 
the next, in which four small gunboats which, under Admiral 
Lee, were co-operating with General Peck, took part. On 
the 14th a gunboat was riddled and disabled by the enemy's 
batteries. The sound of the artillery was plainly heard in 
the camps near Fortress Monroe, and the men of the Ninth 
were not much surprised to be ordered next day to the front. 


The regiment broke camp in haste, was taken to Norfolk by 
steamer, and thence, next morning, by train, to Suffolk. The 
regiment was here first attached to a brigade commanded by 
Colonel Dutton of the Twenty-first Connecticut, of Getty's 
division which was holding the right of the lines, along the 
east bank of the Nansemond. 

The Vermonters found here 20,000 men, their front pro- 
tected by ten redoubts with connecting rifle-pits and their 
flanks guarded by the river on the one hand and the Dismal 
Swamp on the other. Here the regiment had its first expe- 
rience of shelter-tents. It lay for two days in camp about 


a mile north of Suffolk, and then moved to a camp in a piece 
of woods — christened " Camp Wood-tick " by the men. In 
front of them was a battery of 20-pound Parrott guns, on the 
shore of the river. The cracking of musketry between the 
pickets on the opposite banks of the river was almost inces- 
sant, and there were frequent artillery duels between the op- 
posing batteries, making much noise and excitement. 

On the 19th a portion of the regiment took part in an 
enterprise, planned by Gen. Getty, which resulted in the cap- 
ture of a prominent battery, at Hill's Point, called " Battery 
Huger" by the enemy, the fire from which had been quite 
damaging to the gunboats. The work was taken by a battal- 
ion of 270 men of the Eighty-ninth New York and Eighth 
Connecticut, who crossed the river in a gunboat, and took the 
battery by a single rapid dash, capturing seven ofiicers and 
130 men of the Forty-fourth Alabama, with five brass guns. 
Two companies of the Ninth, D, Captain Jarvis, and E, Cap- 
tain Brooks, with other troops, supported the attacking 
party, joined them in the captured work, remained in it dur- 
ing the night, worked hard next day in throwing up a breast- 
work in the rear and were withdrawn after dark of the 20th, 
when the work was evacuated and abandoned. 

On the 23d the regiment was transferred to a newly or- 
ganized reserve brigade, commanded by Colonel Wardrop of 
the Ninety-ninth New York. On the 24th the brigade was 
sent to the left to replace troops with which General Corcoran 
was making a reconnoissance toward Edenton, but was 
recalled in haste to the right, in the evening, in consequence 
of a "scare" in that quarter. For ten days or more, at this 
time, the service was severe, the troops being ordered out 
before dawn each morning, on duty in the rifle pits or at 
work on the' fortifications all day, and being occasionally 
aroused and standing to arms at night. The weather was 
rainy and the mud deep, and the sick list increased. Dur- 
ing the last week in April, the two new assistant surgeons, 
recently appointed, Dr. Story N. Goss, of Georgia, Vt., and 


Dr. Walter S. Vincent, of Plainfield, joined the regiment 
and entered on their duties.' 

On the 1st of May, when Hooker's movement to Chan- 
cellorsville became developed, Lee sent for Longstreet, and 
on the 3d he withdrew from the front of Suffolk, masking his 
retreat by a strong picket line, and by free use of his artil- 
lery ; and after three weeks of constant skirmishing the so 
called " siege of Suffolk" came to a sudden end. A portion of 
the Ninth, under Lieutenant Leavenworth, were on the picket 
line that night and advanced to the enemy's abandoned rifle 
pits next morning. A strong force of infantry and cavalry 
followed the enemy to the Blackwater, where the pursuit 
ended, and the troops returned, bringing in with them several 
hundred stragglers, from over forty Confederate regiments. 
On the 5th, the regiment was sent out eight miles on the 
Edenton road, south of Suffolk, on the edge of the Dismal 
Swamp, to dig down the Confederate earthworks in that 
quarter. These gave the men four days of hard work, for 
which they found some conpensation in the abundance of 
chickens, bacon and sweet potatoes which somehow made 
their way into camp. 

May 10th, the regiment moved back to Suffolk and went 
into camp in a field near Fort Union, south of the town. It 
was here occupied with work on the fortifications, which were 
still being strengthened in anticipation of a return of the 
enemy. On the 14th, the Ninth was brigaded with the Ninetieth 
and One Hundred and Eighteenth New York and Nineteenth 
Wisconsin regiments, forming part of the First division of 
the Seventh Army Corps, and having for its brigade com- 
mander Brigadier General Isaac Wistar. 

On the lltli, Lieut. Colonel Stowell resigned. By the 
acceptance of his resignation, which had been once before 

' Dr. Gobs was appointed assistant surgeon in September previous ; but 
had remained till now in Vermont on duty at the State camp and hospital 
at Brattleboro. 


tendered, the regiment lost one of the best field officers in the 
service, brave, trusty, efficient and popular alike with officers 
and men. The vacancy was filled on the 16th by the promo- 
tion of Major Kipley. About this time the regiment lost 
another of its most patriotic and prominent officers, by the 
resignation of Adjutant John C. Stearns, on account of ill 
health. He was succeeded as Adjutant by Lieutenant Josiah 
O. Livingston, a capable officer. Second Lieutenant Curtis 
A. Hibbard resigned on the 16th. 

On the 20th, the regiment moved, with the brigade, to 
Windsor, ten miles out on the Petersburg railroad, Lieut. 
Colonel Eipley commanding in the absence of Colonel 
Andross, who was in poor health and had decided to leave 
the army. Next day the Ninth moved out five miles farther 
to Barber's Cross Koads, on the Blackwater, and after a week 
of out-post duty in that quarter, returned to Sufiblk. Here 
it remained twenty days. 

Early in June, the resignation of Colonel Andross, ten- 
dered May 22d, was accepted, and Lieut. Colonel Ripley was 
appointed colonel.' He was one of the youngest colonels on 
the roll of Vermont officers, being now less than 23 years old. 
Tall, straight, handsome, vigorous, high-spirited, a splendid 
horseman, apt in command and equal to every position, he 

' Colonel Edward H. Ripley was the second son of William Y. Ripley, 
a wealthy and prominent citizen of Rutland. He was in his junior year in 
Union College, when the war broke out. In compliance with the wishes of 
his parents, he lemained in college — though he would rather have been in 
the army — till May, 1862, when, under the call for troops to protect Wash- 
ington, he left college and undertook to enlist a company for the Ninth 
regiment. He pushed recruiting with great energy, and his company 
lacked but a day of being the first to be filled for that regiment. He was 
made its first captain. His enthusiasm and energy and the standing of his 
company, which speedily took rank as one of the best in the regiment, 
marked him for promotion, and upon the first vacancy among the field offi- 
cers, he was recommended by Colonel Stannard for appointment as major. 
His further advancement was very rapid, the dates of his commissions as 
major, lieutenant colonel and colonel, being March 20th, May 16th, and 
May 20th, 1863,— all within a period of nine weeks. 


was a fine type of a volunteer soldier. He was ambitious to 
have liis regiment second to none in appearance as well as 
efficiency. It was drilled with method and especial care. 
The men were required to keep their arms and accoutrements 
in perfect order ; and though the colonel was dubbed a 
" regular" by his men, from his attention to details of disci- 
pline and drill, he held their confidence and respect ; and they 
became justly proud of the distinction accorded to the Ninth 
Yermont for soldierly bearing, thorough discipline and su- 
perior appearance on parade. 

The promotion of Lieut. Colonel Ripley was followed by 
that of Captain Valentine G. Barney to be lieutenant colonel, 
and of Captain Charles Jarvis, company D, to be major. 
Lieutenant L. E. Sherman became captain of company A ; 
Lieutenant Samuel H. Kelley captain of company B, and 
Lieutenant Asaph Clark captain of company D. Second 
Lieutenant E. W. Jewett was promoted first lieutenant, and 
Sergeant E. F. Cleveland, second lieutenant of company A ; 
Second Lieutenant A. C. Ballard was promoted first lieuten- 
ant, and Sergeant W. A. Dodge, second lieutenant of com- 
pany B , Second Lieutenant C. W. Haskell was promoted to 
be first lieutenant, and Sergeant A. H. Snow, second lieutenant 
of company D. Captain L. H. Bisbee having resigned. 
Lieutenant James T. Gorham was appointed captain of com- 
pany H, Second Lieutenant Stillman Stone being promoted 
to first lieutenant, and Sergeant Charles H. Hodge to second 
lieutenant of that company. Sergeant Patrick Hobon of com- 
pany C was at this time appointed second lieutenant of com- 
pany I. 

The Ninth, during its two months at Suffolk, saw plenty 
of powder burned, became familiar with the music of bullets 
and shells, and gained valuable experience as soldiers. After 
the departure of Longstreet, 10,000 or more of the Union 
troops at Suffolk were sent to the Peninsula. Wistar's bri- 
gade was among those so withdrawn ; and on the 17th of 


June the Ninth went by rail to Norfolk, and thence by tran- 
sport to Yorktown, where it went into camp, to await the ar- 
rival of the rest of the brigade, near the knoll on which 
General Washington had his headquarters at the time of 
Cornwallis's surrender. 


General Dix was now organizing the movement against 
Richmond which he had been directed to make from the 
Peninsula when Lee's movement to the north, on the Gettys- 
burg campaign, became developed. The command of the 
expedition was entrusted to General Keyes, commanding the 
Fourth Corps ; and had the operation been pushed with vigor 
while Richmond was largely stripped of defenders, as was 
the case at the time, the Ninth Vermont would probably have 
visited the Confederate capital twenty months before it finally 
marched into its blazing streets. But the movement proved 
to be a sluggish and fruitless affair. After a week's stay in 
Yorktown, while five or six thousand men, under General 
Getty, passed by them up the York river to White House, 
the Ninth was sent with the Nineteenth Wisconsin regiment 
and Sixteenth New York battery, under General Wistar, to 
occupy West Point, ten miles below White House. The 
regiment reached West Point by transport in the evening of 
the 25th, bivouacked on the bank of the river, and next day 
went into camp half a mile from the landing. Here it spent 
ten days, doing picket duty, picking blackberries, and waiting 
impatiently for orders to enter the back-door of Richmond, 
at which General Keyes was supposed to be knocking, and 
for news from the armies in Maryland and Pennsylvania. 
General Keyes got as near Richmond as Baltimore Cross 
Roads, fourteen miles out from the city ; did some skirmish- 
ing on the 26th of June and 2d of July ; and having dis- 
covered that Richmond was not wholly undefended, retired 
as he came. The Ninth re-embarked on the 7th and returned 


to Torktown, disgusted at the inglorious result of the expedi- 
tion. The news of the fall of Vicksburg and the defeat of 
Lee in Pennsylvania, however, afforded substantial consola- 
tion, and the regiment rejoiced especially in the fame won 
by their old colonel and his brigade at Gettysburg. 

Wistar's brigade spent the rest of the summer at York- 
town. The Ninth was quartered in barracks within the for- 
midable fortifications erected by Magruder in the spring of 
1862. The chief occupations were drill and guard duty, for 
which the regiment furnished a detail every third day. Four 
companies, B, E, L, and K, were drilled as heavy artillery 
and did duty on the siege guns. The bathing was good, and 
oysters and peaches plenty in their seasons, but in spite of 
such alleviations, the regiment as a whole would have been 
glad to exchange its safe and inactive life for sterner duty 
with the army of the Potomac. 

That the Ninth Vermont stood well with General Wistar 
was indicated by the number of its officers selected by him 
for staff duty — Quartermaster Sawyer being detailed as bri- 
gade quartermaster, Surgeon Carpenter having charge of the 
" Nelson " General Hospital, Captain Brooks being provost 
marshal. Lieutenant Leavenworth inspector General, and 
Lieutenant Jewett engineer, on the brigade staff. At one 
time fifteen officers were taken from the regiment by such 
special details. 

On the 25tli of July, in consequence of intelligence that 
hostile cavalry had been seen across the York River, the regi- 
ment was put on a gunboat, before daylight, and taken up 
the river to Cappahosack, landed there and marched to 
Gloucester Court House. No hostile force was found, and 
the regiment returned by way of Gloucester Point to York- 
town, bringing in a number of horses and wagons taken from 
the farms of secessionists, and a confederate mail-bag with its 
contents, captured from the carrier. The regiment marched 
about thirty miles that day, with no straggling, though it 
was a very hot day. 


During August and September the regiment was com- 
manded by Lieut. Colonel Barney, in tlie absence of Colonel 
Eipley, who was detailed as member of an Examining Board 
and Court of Inquiry which sat at Fortress Monroe. Mala- 
rial fevers were prevailing and the sick list increased to 163 
on the 15th of September and to no less than 255, or two 
thirds of the command, on the 1st of October. Colonel Kipley 
did his best to get the regiment removed from " Fort Malaria" 
and twice orders to move were obtained. Once the regiment 
was partly embarked for Portsmouth, Va. But each order 
was countermanded by a new commander of the department, 
and the Ninth staid, on. It was a time of deep depression of 
mind and body throughout the garrison. A brigade of 2,000 
men ran down with Yorktown fever, till it could hardly supply 
a detail of 350 men for guard duty. Deaths were less numer- 
ous among the Vermonters than among some other troops ; 
but company B of the Ninth lost seven men by death, and 
twenty-five men of the Ninth died from disease in September 
and October. The list of effective men ran down to 75, and 
then to 36; and at last, one clay, the entire regiment was 
excused from duty by Assistant Surgeon Vincent, hardly a 
man being able to carry a musket. The medical staff were 
overworked. Dr. Vincent fell seriously ill. Assistant Sur- 
geon Goss resigned. Quartermaster Sawyer and several 
other officers went to Vermont on sick leave. Many men 
became permanently broken down by disease. 

Finally, through the efforts of Senator Foot and Governor 
Smith, an order was obtained directly from Secretary Stan- 
ton, for the removal of the regiment to some more healthful 
locality. The order to move came on the 23d of October and 
put new life into the feeble men. They knew not where they 
wore going, but were glad to go anywhere, away from the 
pestilential air of Yorktown. A day or two later they found 
that they were destined for New Berne, North Carolina. On 
the 24:th, they embarked, together with part of the Ninety- 


ninth New York, on the propeller John Eice. The boat 
proved to be too small for her load, and stopping in Hamp- 
ton Roads, Lieut. Colonel Barney with eight companies of 
the Ninth, numbering 320 men, were transferred to the 
steamer United States. Vilas Smith, a young soldier of 
company I, fell overboard from the Rice as she lay tossing 
at anchor, and was drowned. The two vessels put to sea on 
the 25th in a furious gale Avhicli compelled the United States 
to put back to Fortress Monroe, where the detachment 
landed and spent three days in camp recovering from sea 
sickness and waiting for the storm to abate. The Rice kept 
on, and after a fearfully rough passage, the storm being so 
tremendous that the probable loss of the steamer with all 
on board was reported in the New York papers, arrived on 
Monday, the 26th, at Morehead City, N. C, the coast ter- 
minus of the railroad leading inland to New Berne and 
Waynesboro. General Peck was then in command at New 
Berne, having been sent thither after the evacuation of Suf- 
folk. Colonel Ripley promptly reported to him there with 
the right wing of the regiment, but was sent back next day 
to Newport, ten miles up from Morehead City. Here he 
was joined a day or two later by the rest of the regiment. 
The men went into old barracks, built of pitch-pine logs 
and populated with vermin, and were allowed to rest and 

Colonel Ripley was placed in command of the post at 
Newport barracks, and of the fortifications ^lardiug the ap- 
proaches to Morehead City and Beaufort, N. C, from the 

' A hundred or more sick men were left in the general hospital at For- 
tress Monroe. Several remained on detached duty at Yorktown, and 
were still there when, on December 16th, the hospital of the One Hundred 
and Forty-eighth New York and the magazine burned. The last man to 
leave the roof of the burning arsenal — shortly before the explosion took 
place by which a million dollars worth of ammunition and government 
property was destroyed, was Sergeant John N. Thomas of the Ninth. 
Thomas was publicly complimented by General "Wistar for his daring ser- 


west. The village of Newport was on the north side of the 
Newport River, a deep, unfordable stream emptying into the 
Neuse. The barracks were on the opposite side of the river, 
half a mile from the village, and midway between the bridge 
by which the " county road " or highway between New 
Berne and Morehead City crossed the river and the rail- 
road bridge half a mile farther down. The main defence of 
the camp was a redoubt armed with a 32-pound gun and 
three 12-pounders. On the coast road, leading along the 
shore of Bogue Sound, at a point about three miles from the 
barracks, was a block-house, and the picket line extended 
from this to a point on Gale's Creek, seven miles west of the 
barracks, and thence to the swamps bordering the river — a 
circuit of twelve or fifteen miles. The position was guarded 
by about a thousand men, comprising besides the Ninth, 
four companies of Massachusetts and Rhode Island heavy 
artillery, four companies of New York and Wisconsin in- 
fantry and three squadrons of New York cavalry. The 
nearest hostile force was a Confederate cavalry out-post at 
Onslow Court House, twenty-five miles to the east. The 
country around Newport was a level stretch of sandy pine 
land, intersected by numerous country roads and inter- 
spersed with morasses. The moss-hung sycamore trees, the 
alligators and moccasin and copperhead snakes, the snufl- 
dipping natives, and the hunting of possums, gave new scenes 
and occupations to the Vermonters. 

Colonel Ripley's first efforts were directed to the im- 
provement of the camp and strengthening of the works, by 
means of the abundant labor of the colored population. 
Though General Peck had hitherto discouraged all such em- 
ployment of the negroes, Ripley organized a force of colored 
laborers, by whom the rickety barracks were repaired, log- 
houses for the hospital and post headquarters built, the 
scarps of the fort revetted with turf, and the camps cleaned. 
General Butler, who succeeded General Foster in command 


of the department in October, soon after visited Newport 
and gave his approval to such employment of the blacks, 
and authorized the issue of rations and payment of wages to 
them. The health of the regiment began to improve slowly 
and on the 12th of November 18 officers and 264 men were 
reported present for daty. 

On the 1st day of December the regiment suffered the 
severest loss that befell it in the death of any one man. 
Major Jarvis was sent out that day with a squad of half a 
dozeji men of the 'Third New York Cavalry, to a house on the 
road east of Newport, to see if the inmates, who had made 
complaint of pilfering done by a cavalry-man, could recognize 
the offender in any one of the party. Learning at the house 
that three Confederate soldiers had passed the house on 
foot, an hour before, Major Jarvis pushed on after them. A 
ride of seven miles brought him in sight of the men, who, 
seeing that they were pursued, left the road for some neigh- 
boring woods. Ordering his men to follow, the major put 
spurs to his horse and dashed after them, firing upon them 
as he drew near, with his revolver. Two of them reached 
the woods. The third, overhauled in open ground, turned 
as the major galloped up to him, and resting his revolver on 
his left arm, fired rapidly three or four shots. One bullet 
cut the major's bridle-rein, another glanced from his sword- 
belt, a third entered his abdomen, and he sank from his 
horse. The cavalry-men, who were close behind, soon cap- 
tured the man, who proved to be a member of a North Caro- 
lina regiment, returning to the field after a furlough. Re- 
alizing that his wound was very serious. Major Jarvis sent 
word by one of the cavalry-men to Newport BaiTacks ; and 
Colonel Eipley, Assistant Surgeon Vincent and Chaplain 
Dickinson hastened to the spot. They met the party, who 
were bringing in the major on a mule-cart, and as his condi- 
tion was evidently critical, he was taken into the first house. 
He was sinking from internal hemorrhage, and already past 


surgical aid. He lived till nearly midnight, conversing calmly 
with those around him, sending messages to his friends, and 
expressing his resignation to the will of God, and then 
yielded his brave and true spirit to Him who gave it. He 
was the first man of the Ninth who fell by a rebel bullet. 
His death cast a gloom over the regiment, every man of 
which respected and loved him, and it occasioned deep 
mourning in the State of Vermont.' 

The death of Major Jarvis was followed by the promo- 
tion of Captain Amasa Bartlett of company E, to the va- 
cancy, and Lieutenant E. M. Quimby became captain and 
Second Lieutenant Edward L. Kelley, of B company, was 
made first lieutenant of company E ; Lieutenant Eugene 
Yiele, of company F, was promoted captain of company I, 
in place of Captain A. J. Mower resigned ; Sergeant E. L. 
Brownell was appointed second lieutenant of company I', 
and Sergeant Joel C. Baker second lieutenant of company 
K, in place of Lieutenant H. H. Rice, resigned. 

On the 24th of December a detachment of the Ninth, 
under Colonel Ripley, accompanied an expedition under 

' Charles Jarvis was the son of Hon. William Jarvis, widely known as 
*' Consul Jarvis," of Weathersfield, Vt. He was a graduate of the Univer- 
sity of Vermont, and of the Cambridge, Mass., Law School. He was en- 
gaged in the care of the large property left by his father, when the 
war broke out. He at once went to Washington and tendered himself 
to the Government for any service he could render. But he was not called 
upon; and when the Ninth regiment was recruited, being then at the age 
of 40, he raised a company and went to the front. To his friends who re- 
monstrated and represented the importance of the interests depending on 
his life at home, he replied : ' ' There are things dearer than life. I would 
rather die for my country than live in ease at home." He shared all the 
varied trying experiences of the regiment, and rendered patient and faith- 
ful service to the day of his death. In the words of Colonel Ripley, " he 
passed away as he had lived, a brave soldier and simple-hearted, devoted 
Christian ; and left an example whose impression will never fade from 
our hearts." His remains were removed to Vermont and interred at 
Weathersfield, with extraordinary demonstrations of sorrow and respect on 
the part of the citizens of his town and of Windsor Coimty. The officers of 
the regiment adopted resolutions of regard for his memory, and wore 
t)adges of mourning for thirty days in his honor. 



Colonel Jourdan of the One Hundred and Fifty-eighth New- 
York, to destroy some salt works on Bear Sound, thirty 
miles south of Newport. The troops were taken thither by 
two gunboats, landed through the surf in small boats, 
and destroyed four large salt works and a quantity of im- 
ported salt, and returned next day with a large accession of 
blacks. General Peck, in a general order, extended his 
thanks to Colonel Jourdan, Colonel Kipley and their "gal- 
lant commands," who, he says, ''suffered intensely from 
cold in consequence of having been obliged to wade a long 
distance from the boats to the shore." 

The year 1864 opened for the Ninth, at Newport, with 
an aggregate of 499 officers and men, 183 being sick and 299 
present for duty. The regiment guarded a line about twelve 
miles long, a company being stationed at each end of it, one 
at the block-house near Bogue Sound, and one at Gale's 

On the 27th of January, Colonel Ripley with a hundred 
and thirty picked men of the Ninth, accompanied Colonel 
Jourdan in a reconnoissance into Jones and Onslow coun- 
ties. The force comprised 250 cavalry, 250 infantry and a 
small howitzer. It was a hard march for the infantry. 
Starting at nightfall they trudged all night through the pine 
forests and over the swamp roads to White Oak river, near 
ToTing's Cross Roads, thirty miles from camp. The cavalry, 
preceding them, surrounded and captured during the night 
a Confederate out-post of a lieutenant and 27 cavalry-men, 
found asleep in and about a house, with thirty horses and 
their equipments. The expedition returned with their pris- 
oners without firing a shot. 

On the 27th an accession of 350 recruits, brought from 
Vermont by Lieutenant Yiele, more than doubled the num- 
ber of effective men, and increased the aggregate of the regi- 
ment to 844. The recruits were distributed among the com- 
panies, and had a sudden initiation into duty on the battlefield. 



In the last days of January, General Pickett, command- 
ing the Confederate department of North Carolina, advanced 
against New Berne with six brigades of infantr}^ and artil- 
lery and cavalry to match. On the 1st of February he at- 
tacked the One Hundred and Thirty-second New York, 
stationed at Bachelor's Creek, eight miles west of New 
Berne, capturing 230 men, and next day felt of the defences 
of New Berne sufficiently to satisfy him that they were too 
strong to be carried by him. While so engaged he de- 
spatched General Martin's brigade of North Carolina troops, 
to break up the railroad and if possible capture the Union 
force at Newport. Martin reached the vicinity of Newport 
Barracks during the night of the 1st with three infantry 
regiments, a battalion of cavalry and three pieces of artil- 
lery, in all some 1,700 men. Colonel Ripley was absent, 
having gone to Fortress Monroe with some prisoners and 
despatches, leaving Lieut. Colonel Barney in command of 
the Post, and Captain Kelley in command of the regiment. 
Company B (commanded for the time being by Lieutenant 
Ballard), occupied the block-house on Bogue Sound, and com- 
pany H, Captain Gorliam, was doing out-post duty at Gale's 
Creek, with a cavalry picket out beyond. The first appear- 
ance of the enemy was at the latter point. About nine 
o'clock in the morning of the 2d the cavalry picket came in 
in a hurry, the lieutenant in command of it showing a sabre- 
cut in his shoulder. The infantry pickets next came in, 
less a dozen of their number who had been cut off and cap- 
tured ; but not without having inflicted some loss upon the 
enemy. One of the new recruits, Oberon Payne by name, 
shot a mounted man, supposed to be an officer, from his 
horse, and the animal, keeping on, came within reach of the 
pickets and was brought in with the empty saddle. Gorham 
at once deployed his company, numbering about forty men 
with guns (some of the recruits being as yet unarmed) and 


fell back slowly, stopping frequently to fire, and holding the 
enemy's skirmishers in check till he reached some woods 
with thick undergrowth, under cover of which he retreated 
through the swamp and an hour or two later joined the 
regiment in front of Newport Barracks. 

The enemy appeared to company B at the block-house 
about eleven o'clock, making his presence known by a solid 
shot which went through the block-house. The fire was re- 
turned from an old howitzer which had been mounted on a 
navy carriage, and the block-house was held till the enemy 
advanced an infantry line of apparently a full regiment. To 
oppose this, Lieutenant Ballard had sixty-two men, half of 
them recruits who had received their guns and a pocket-full 
of cartridges apiece that morning. He had of course no 
alternative but to retreat, and fell back with occasional 
halts to fire upon the enemy. 

Meantime, the long roll had sounded in the camp, and 
the regiment fell into line, and after a short speech from 
Captain Kelley, was marched toward Bogue Sound in the 
direction of the later firing. It was halted about two miles 
from camp in a large clearing, extending across the County 
road and to the railroad track, which ran parallel to the road 
and half a mile from ii Here the regiment was deployed in 
the edge of the woods in a thin single line — there being not 
men enough to form a line of battle for the front which must 
be covered — with skirmishers thrown out in the open ground 
in front. Lieutenant T. S. Peck, commanding the skirmish, 
ers on the right of the road, was sent forward to ascertain 
the position of the enemy, and if possible, open communica- 
tion with company B. The latter purpose, however, could 
not be accomplished, as company B had fallen back, pursued 
by the enemy, along the coast road, to Morehead City. The 
skirmishers, advancing beyond a strip of woods, came in 
sight of a strong body of the enemy's infantry, in process of 
forming a battle line. This soon advanced, firing heavily, 


and the skirmishers fell back to the main line. A good piece 
of service was rendered at this time by Lieutenant Viele, 
who manned a field-piece, drawing it out from the camp by 
hand. Stationing this in the road, he opened fire on the 
enemy's artillery, exploded one of their caissons, and by re- 
peated discharges of grape aided in checking the Confed- 
erate advance. Surgeon Carpenter, in the lack of field offi- 
cers, went to the front, and was active and efficient in watch- 
ing the movements of the enemy and carrying orders to the 
various portions of the command. The men behaved well; 
but the regiment was gradually pressed back towards camp. 
It halted, however, wherever a strip of woods and bushes 
afforded cover, and by its repeated stands held the enemy in 
check for nearly four hours. At six o'clock the regiment had 
fallen back to the works at Newport Barracks. The Con- 
federate commander was now extending his lines around the 
right of the position, while on the left the force which at- 
tacked company B at the block-house had moved to and 
occupied the railroad track, cutting ofl' all retreat in the 
direction of Morehead City. 

Had the fort at the barracks and the redoubt north of 
the river been held by the heavy artillery stationed in them, 
a final stand might now have been made under cover of 
their guns ; but the artillery -men had spiked the guns, and 
with the cavalry, who left the infantry to make the best fight 
they could, retreated to New Berne, spreading the report 
that the Ninth Vermont had been cut off and again cap- 

The only course now open to Barney was to put the 
river between his command and the enemy. The barracks, 
hospital and store-houses with a quantity of crude turpen- 
tine in barrels belonging to the government, were fired ; and 

' For this misconduct, the captains of the a rtillery companies were 
court-martialed, on charges preferred by Colonel Ripley, and one of them 
was cashiered. 


giving the enemy a final volley from a low crest in front of 
tlie camp, the regiment retired across the river by the two 
bridges. At the highway bridge a rear guard, under Lieu- 
tenant Peck, tore up the planks of the bridge and kindled the 
pine stringers with bunches of dry grass, while others 
checked the advance of the enemy by firing across the stream. 
At the railroad bridge Lieutenant Jewett, with company K, 
took a position on the track north of the river, commanding 
the approach to the bridge, and kept back all comers by a 
vigorous fire of musketry till Lieutenant Livingston and Sur- 
geon Vincent had fired the bridge. A number of stragglers 
and recruits who had lost their way, reached the river too 
late to cross the bridges, and plunged into the river. It was 
supposed at the time that some of these were drowned ; and 
the river was subsequently dragged for their bodies, but with- 
out finding any. After firing the bridges the rear guards 
followed the regiment, which was making its way in the 
gathering darkness, by a long detour around the swamps and 
inlet, to Beaufort, where it arrived at sunrise next morning. 

The feelings of the officers and men of the command, as 
they halted and dropped in their tracks at Beaufort, may 
be imagined. They had been driven from their camp, saving 
nothing but their arms and the clothing on their backs. 
They were hungry, faint and exhausted by a forced night 
march of twenty-seven miles. They missed comrades from 
their number, who were killed, drowned or in the enemy's 
hands. Yet they had done some fighting ; and, considering 
that half their number were raw recruits, many of whom had 
never handled a musket, and that they had held their ground 
for hours against greatly superior numbers, they thought 
they had done pretty well. They had at least frustrated a 
well-laid plan for their capture. They had their colors and 
their arms, and the right to use them. So it might have 
been worse. 

The loss of the regiment in this afi'air was three killed, 14 


wounded, two of whom died of their wounds, and 47 missing. 
Thirty-five of the latter were reci-uits, who, when cut off 
from the rest, being wholly unacquainted with tlie ground, 
fell into the enemy's lines while seeking their own. Among 
the wounded was Lieutenant Bolton of company C, who re- 
ceived a ball through both shoulders, and among the miss- 
ing was Lieutenant Holman of company G, who was cap- 
tured early in the engagement.' Of the men captured twenty- 
eight, or about two-thirds, whose names are starred in the 
list of missing, died in the prison pens of Andersonville and 
Salisbury. The enemy's loss, as obtained from wounded 
prisoners and reported by Lieut. Colonel Barney, was a 
captain and two lieutenants and fifteen men killed, and thirty 

From Beaufort the regiment was ferried across the in- 
let the same day to Morehead City, where the men of com- 
pany B, who had retreated thither the previous evening, 

' The killed were Joseph Osier of company C, and William Piper and 
Nathan C. Smith of company D. Peter Osier of company U, and Matthew 
Riley of company G, died of their wounds. 

The rank and file wounded were : Company B, Nathan Deforge, leg; 
W. P. Smith, head ; company C, Peter Osier, Charles Van Steenburg ; 
company D, Thomas P. Garry, arm, Guy B. Walker ; company F, William 
Melcher, leg, Alfred Tatro ; company H, Stephen Burroughs, hand ; com- 
pany K, T. E. Marcy, hand ; Charles W. Stoddard, hip. 

The rank and file missing were : Company A, *Burchard Clough, 
*Oscar F. Davis, *George W. Loud, *Z. P. Proud, *H. C. Smith ; com- 
pany B, *Franklin Caswell, *John Grant, *Franklin Ives, *Thomas Ripley, 
Thomas Rudd, *David Weller ; company C, *Peter Barton, *H. A. 
Beadle, James N. Dower, Peter Osier, Nelson Steinhower ; company D, P. 

D. Duphinny, Thomas Griswold, *Patrick Marrion, *George H. Pearson, 

E. G. Rounsevel, *A. D. Whitney ; company F, Alson H. Blake, J. K. 
Clark, W. Melcher, *Alfred Tatro ; company G, *A. M. Bacon, *L. Ray- 
more, *Milo Tucker; company H, *A. H. Cole, H. P. Chase, *C. E. Free- 
man, J. D. Finnegan, *E. W. Havens, *Wayne Hazen, Henry Jackson, 
Patrick McGowan, *T. H. Pettit, *H. W. Phelps, fS. M. Reynolds, 
♦Benjamin M. Smith, J. C. Vosburgh; company I, *Franklin Averill, *W. 

C. Beede, *J. Bohonan, Henry Cobb, C. S. George. 

* Died in the Confederate prison pens. 

t Corporal Reynolds lived to reach Annapolis and died there in Parole 


were found, and all hands were set actively at work digging 
rifle-pits, in anticipation of an attack from Martin's force. 
The abandonment by Pickett of the attack on New Berne, 
however, had necessitated the withdrawal of Martin, and he 
departed after tearing up portions of the railroad and de- 
stroying whatever had been left unburned by the garrison at 
Newport Barracks. On the 5th the troops at Morehead City 
were reinforced by the Twenty-first Connecticut, sent down 
from Fortress Monroe ; and the Ninth, under Colonel E-ipley 
who had returned, went back to Newport Barracks. The 
bodies of the three men killed on the 2d were here found 
where they fell, stripped of clothing, together with two se- 
verely wounded Confederates, who had also been stripped 
by their comrades in anticipation of their death. They 
were, however, kindly cared for by the Union surgeons and 
both survived. The next night, in consequence of a false 
alarm, the regiment fell back four miles and formed line 
across the neck. Next day, the 7th, they returned to New- 
port Barracks to stay. Out-posts were again thrown out to 
Gale's Creek and Canady's Mill ; a new line of defence was 
established and entrenchments thrown up ; new guns were 
mounted, the woods slashed and abatis constructed. The 
position was thus made very strong ; but no opportunity to 
test its strength occurred. About the middle of February 
the weather became very cold, the ground froze and snow 
fell. The men had just received some new tents ; but suf- 
fered much for want of the overcoats, blankets and under- 
clothing which had gone to warm the backs of Martin's men.' 
On the 23d Colonel Ripley established a new camp for 
the regiment, on the south side of the railroad track. The 

' For these Colonel Jeffords, Fifth North Carolina, made acknowledg- 
ment in a letter dated at Burnt Church, February 6th, addressed to the 
" Officer commanding Yankee forces," and left at the out-post at Gale's 
Creek when the enemy retired. In this he said : "I am impressed we are 
equal with you for the capture of our pickets at Young's Mills. Our men 
are extremely obliged for the hats, boots, overcoats, etc., left by you." 


men rafted logs down the river, ran a saw-mill and sawed 
lumber for floors for the tents and for officers' quarters, and 
made themselves comfortable. An arrival of 70 more re- 
cruits made good the losses of February 2d, and on the 1st 
of March the regiment had an aggregate of 876, the largest 
in two years, with 192 men on the sick list — this heavy list 
being due to an epidemic of measles of a typhoid type, 
which ran through the recruits and proved fatal in many 

The work of strengthening the position at Newport went 
forward actively under various alarming reports received 
almost daily from General Peck at New Berne, and occa- 
sional appearances of the enemy's cavalry in front. Strong 
fatigue parties worked steadily day and night, lighting the 
ground by fires at night. By the 6tli of March, about "which 
time apprehension of an immediate attack abated, the 
fort had been rebuilt and better armed than before ; strong 
breastworks thrown up ; the timber cleared from a wide area ; 
rifle-pits dug and approaches obstructed; and the Ninth 
would have welcomed a chance to try the affair of the 2d 
over again with General Martin. 

On the 16th of March the regiment suffered another 
serious loss in the death of Major Bartlett. He had recently 
returned to the regiment after an absence in Vermont, and 
had just assumed his position as major, when he was stricken 
down with spinal meningitis, and died after a brief illness. 
He was in the prime of early manhood, not yet 30 years old, 
and though quiet and retiring by nature, was a man of de- 
cided ability and superior character, and gave promise of dis- 
tinguished usefulness. He was a general favorite, and his 
death occasioned deep grief in the regiment. His re- 
mains were taken to Vermont for final interment. Captain 
Brooks of company F, a competent officer, was promoted to 
the vacancy, and Lieutenant Bascom was made captain of 
company F. On the 9th of April Dr. Erastus P. Fairman of 


Wolcott, who had been serving as a private in the ranks of 
the Seventeenth Vermont regiment, was appointed assistant 
surgeon, and joined the command soon after. 

For ten days in April, in the absence of Colonel Jour- 
dan, General Ripley commanded the sub-district of Beaufort, 
N. C, with headquarters at Morehead City, leaving Lieut. 
Colonel Barney in command of the post at Newport Bar- 
racks. On the 27th, on receipt of word that a fishing party 
was taking fish on Bogue Banks, for the Confederate com- 
missary department at Kinston, Captain Kelley was sent after 
them with a detail of twenty men, and brought in a sergeant 
and three men, with 500 pounds of sea-trout, a seine, and 
three canoes. On the 29th he was sent to capture a rebel cav- 
alry outpost at Swansboro, N. C. Taking fifty men and a 
ponton to White Oak river, opposite to Swansboro, he 
crossed the stream and at night captured a lieutenant and 
seventeen men of the Seventh North Carolina Cavalry with 
their horses and arms, a 6-pound howitzer, and several sail- 
boats, and after destroying a quantity of Confederate army 
stores, returned with his prisoners without the loss of a man. 

The last half of April and first week of May were not a 
qviiet time in North Carolina. The enemy, under General 
Hoke, attacked and captured Plymouth, within one hundred 
miles of Newport, with its garrison of 1,600 men. Washing- 
ton, N. C, had been evacuated. There were naval conflicts 
between the iron-clad ram Albemarle, the terror of the coast, 
and the Union gunboats. General Beauregard had come up 
from Charleston to Goldsboro to push military operations in 
the department. New Berne was again threatened, and com- 
munication between Newport and New Berne was broken by 
hostile batteries planted at Croatan, commanding both the 
railroad and river. The sound of cannonading at that 
point was plainly heard at Newport Barracks, and the regi- 
ment prepared for action. But the emergency at Richmond^ 
now threatened by Grant, caused the withdrawal of the Con- 


federate forces from the vicinity of New Berne, and compara- 
tive quiet again reigned in that quarter. 

On the 19th of May, the Ninth accompanied an expedi- 
tion under Colonel Jourdan, commanding at Beaufort, the 
ol)ject of which was to cut the railroad between Wilmington 
and Goldsboro. The regiment, with four days' rations, took 
train to Croatan, whence the column, comprising infantry, 
cavalry and artillery, pushed into the country to the south- 
east; halted a while at Evans's Mills, that night ; marched 
all next day, to White Oak River, near Young's Cross Roads, 
and on the 21st went nearly to Jacksonville, in the centre of 
Onslow County. The cavalry, after a brush with a small 
force of Confederate cavalry, occupied Jacksonville for an 
hour. Having gone half way to the railroad Jourdan's 
heart seems to have failed him at this point, and he started 
back. The Ninth returned by way of Young's Cross Roads 
(where there was a little picket firing at night), Peletier's 
Mills, and Gale's Creek, and reached camp at Newport Bar- 
racks at midnight of the 21th. It had marched about eighty 
miles in four days and five nights, in hot weather and over 
sandy roads, and the men were tired and foot-sore. 

Three weeks of drill and easy duty in the pleasant camp 
at Newport followed. On the 11th of July, A, F, H and K 
companies, under Major Brooks, were ordered up to New 
Berne by rail, to replace troops whose term of service 
had expired ; and on the 22d and 26th the remainder of the 
regiment followed, and was stationed at various outposts 
within a circuit of ten miles, with headquarters in a beautiful 
location on the south side of the Trent, near Fort Spinola. 
Two companies, D and K, were posted at Red House ; two, 
I and E, at Rocky Run ; A at Evans's Mills ; H at Beech- 
wood, on the railroad ; K on the Trent ; F in Fort Spinola, 
and B and C at headquarters. 

On August 3d, the regiment paraded to witness the pain- 
ful spectacle of the execution of a deserter, of another regi- 


ment. Malarial fevers prevailed, aud tlie sick list ranged 
from 130 to 190. On the 29tli, companies H and E were 
sent down from Beechwood to Croatan, where some guerril- 
las had crossed the Neuse, torn up the railroad and thrown 
a train from the track, which, however, they did not wait to 
capture. Company H took five prisoners and two boats. 

On the 31st, Colonel Ripley received orders to join the 
army in front of Richmond as soon as the regiment should 
be relieved by other troops. This took place two weeks after, 
and the Ninth gladly bade adieu to the land of tar and tiu*- 
pentine. It broke camp on the 12th of September ; em- 
barked next day on the steamers Escort and Winona; arrived 
at Bermuda Hundred, on the James, in the morning of the 
15th; and, marching six miles to the west, bivouacked in the 
rear of the Union lines, midway between the James and 
Appomattox rivers. 


The Ninth was here assigned to the Eighteenth Army 
Corps, General Ord, of the Army of the James, under Gen- 
eral Butler, who was holding the lines north of the James 
from Point of Rocks to Deep Bottom. General Stannard 
was now in command of the first division of the Eighteenth 
Corps, and the regiment hoped that it might join his division, 
but it was assigned to the First brigade (Ames's) of the sec- 
ond division. Of this brigade. Colonel Ripley, being the 
ranking colonel, took command, and the command of the 
Ninth devolved on Lieut. Colonel Barney, who, as a careful 
commander, a good disciplinarian and a responsible man, 
had the confidence and respect of the regiment. In a re- 
organization of the command, soon after, the Ninth was 
transferred to the Second brigade of the division. 

On the 17th, 170 recruite joined the regiment, carrying 
its aggregate up to 1,129, and giving it over 700 efi'ective 
men. In numbers the regiment now actually exceeded some 


brigades in the corps. It was in crack condition, as re- 
garded clothing, equipment and appearance ; and it was 
justly regarded as a very important accession to the div- 
ision. It was put into immediate service, a detail of 100 
men under Lieutenant Jewett being stationed in Fort Dut- 
ton, an advanced work within half a mile of the Confederate 
works which guarded the Richmond and Petersburg rail- 
road. Other large details were made for picket duty and 
supports to the mortar batteries in the trenches. The op- 
posing picket lines were within pistol shot of each other, but 
by mutual agreement picket firing was suspended. About 
this time all the hospital stores and books were lost by the 
accidental burning of a steamer moored at Point of Rocks, 
on which they had been placed. 

On the 20th the First and Second brigades, with three 
new Pennsylvania regiments, making a force of some 5,000 
men, was temporarily detached and sent under Colonel Rip- 
ley, to Bailey's Cross Roads, about four miles south of City 
Point — where a large quantity of Union army beef on the 
hoof had just been taken by Rosser's cavalry — to support 
the cavalry of Kautz and Gregg, Avho were preparing for a 
counter-raid, and to guard City Point from attack. The 
position at the Cross Roads was entrenched, the men work- 
ing night and day for a week. Then Ripley was suddenly 
ordered back to the Bermuda Hundred front, with the 
First and Second brigades (leaving behind the Pennsyl- 
vania regiments), to take part in a demonstration against 
Richmond, which General Grant had decided to make with 
the Army of the James. 

As Ripley was ordered to keep the movement of his 
command from the knowledge of the enemy, his troops were 
ordered into line at midnight and were marched to their 
utmost ; but the men were worn by hard work on the 
rifle pits, the straggling was heavy, and it was daylight be- 
fore they crossed the Appomattox and 10 a. m. before they 


reached their former camp. Thej threw themselves upon 
the ground and many slept in spite of the artillery firing, 
till, at 4 p. M., all were aroused by orders to prepare 
for a grand corps review. The muskets were accordingly 
cleaned and clothes brushed, though all believed that some- 
thing besides a review was on foot, and their surmise was 
confirmed when, in the evening, sixty rounds of ammunition 
and three days' rations were issued, and other troops began 
to move past the camp toward the front of Richmond. 

General Grant had some little hope that Butler might 
find Richmond open to surprise and capture ; and it loa^ so 
far open that there were that day in the Confederate in- 
trenchments north of the James, only six brigades of in- 
fantry and one of cavalry, in addition to the heavy artillery 
in the forts. Grant's main design, however, was to threaten 
the city and prevent the sending of reinforcements to Early, 
who at that time was receiving rough treatment from Sheri- 
dan in the Shenandoah Valley. So far, at least, as most 
of the members of the Ninth Vermont were concerned, the 
temper of the Union troops was favorable for ofi:ensive opera- 
tions. The older members of the regiment had long burned 
for a chance to wipe oiit the disgrace of Harper's Ferry. 
They were now animated by the Union victories at Win- 
chester and Fisher's Hill and Atlanta and Mobile ; and were 
ready to welcome any opportunity to show what metal they 
were made of. Such an opportunity was now at hand. 

CHAPIN's farm and fort HARRISON. 

The movement was carefully planned. General Ord, 
with the Eighteenth Corps, was to move up the Varina road, 
leading north from Aiken's Landing, carry the works which 
crossed that road at Chapin's Farm, and there dividing, one 
brigade was to move to the right and attack Fort Gilmer, a 
strong work half a mile north, while the rest of the division 


should move to the river and prevent the sending of rein- 
forcements from Petersburg and the south side of the James 
by way of the ponton bridge which the enemy maintained 
at Chapin's Bhiff. General Birney, with the Tenth Corps, was 
to move from Deep Bottom by the Newmarket and Darby- 
town roads, assault Gilmer in front and force a passage 
through the works southeast of Richmond, The most seri- 
ous piece of business assigned to the Eighteenth Corps was 
the storming of Fort Harrison. This was a powerful work, 
four miles north of Aiken's Landing, crowning a hill and 
commanding the approach to Richmond by the Varina road. 
It mounted sixteen heavy guns, one being an 8-inch Co- 
lumbiad, and the others 64 and 32-pounders. For the as- 
sault upon it General Ord selected his first and second div- 
isions, commanded respectively by Generals Stannard and 
Heckman. The former was to lead the way along the 
Varina road, till the open ground near Fort Harrison was 
reached, then form in column on the left of the road, and 
assault the works.' 

Heckman was to follow closely and push through the 
breach, which it was not doubted Stannard would make. The 
Ninth Vermont was honored by being selected to lead the 
column of Heckman's division ; and Ripley's brigade, when 
inside the front line, was to turn to the right and take in re- 
verse Fort Gilmer and the Laurel Hill batteries, farther to 
the right. 

1" General Stannard told me, in after years, that when he received his 
orders he went to corps headquarters, and was told that General Grant 
had personally indicated him to lead the attack. He then went to General 
Grant, who was at Deep Bottom, and said : ' I am told that I must lead 
this attack, and I have come to protest in behalf of the poor men of my 
division, who have led every assault of the Eighteenth Corps, from Cold 
Harbor until now, and are fought down to a skeleton of a division. I have 
not a word to say for myself — I will freely go wherever you send me ; but 
it is inhuman to give my men so much more than their share of these for- 
lorn hopes.' General Grant quietly replied : ' General Stannard, we must 
carry Fort Harrison, and I know you will do it.' " — Statement of Colonel 


The Ninth took iuto tlie assault about 700 bayonets. 
It was commanded by Major Brooks, in the absence of Lieut. 
Colonel Barney, who was absent on sick leave. It started 
very quietly at midnight, and at 2 A. m. reached the James, 
at Aiken's Landing, where the engineers were laying a pon- 
ton bridge, and Stannard's division was waiting to cross. 
Both divisions were across the river by daylight and moved 
toward Fort Harrison, the skirmishers under Colonel Dona- 
hue of the Tenth New Hampshire driving in the enemy's 
skirmishers, which were met not far from the river. The 
scattered firing in front increased as the columns moved on 
through the pine woods, and as Stannard's division came out 
into the open ground near the fort, the guns of Fort Har- 
rison opened heavily. The space between the head of the 
column and the mouths of the guns was 1,400 yards. In 
front was a piece of low ground, covered wdth fallen brush ; 
then came a wide, open slope ; then an abatis and a deep 
ditch ; then the parapets of Fort Harrison. Retaining his 
formation in column by division, in order to secure the mo- 
mentum of a mass, Stannard ordered his Second brigade 
(Burnham's) forward to the assault, supported by the other 
two brigades of his division. Stannard had intended to 
strike the fort at the sally-port on the southeastern side; 
but its guns swept the approach to this with such a des- 
tractive fire that he changed direction to the right, till he 
was past the eastern bastion of the work; and then, turning 
at a right angle, charged directly upon this, through a ter- 
rible fire of musketry and artillery. General Burnham, lead- 
ing the charge, was killed, and his successor, Colonel Stevens, 
fell severely wounded. His successor in the command of the 
brigade was also wounded ; and when the thing was over 
the brigades which formed the storming column were each 
commanded by a lieutenant colonel. A third of the men in 
the division and about half of the actual storming party 
fell; but nothing could stop the rush of Stannard's men. 


They plunged through the ditch, climbed the steep embank- 
ment, sprang inside the parapet, and captured a considerable 
portion of the regiment which defended the fort, with the 
lieutenant colonel who commanded it. General Stannard 
rode at the side of his Third brigade, and entered the fort 
with his men. Three officers of his staff were wounded dur- 
ing the movements preceding the assault. The enemy was 
next driven from two lunettes, and abandoning that portion 
of his line, fled to his second line of works, half a mile nearer 

Eipley's brigade, meantime, was not idle. As Stannard 's 
division emerged into the open ground. General Heckman 
rode up to Colonel Ripley, who according to the plan was 
to closely follow Stannard, and directed him, instead, to 
move his brigade across the Varina road to the right and 
charge a redoubt and bastion on the north of Fort Har- 
rison. The road, at the spot where they must cross it, 
w^as blocked by a light battery which had lost a number of 
Tiorses from the fire of a heavy gun in the fort, which raked 
the road at that point. In endeavoring to aid its commander 
in clearing a way for the passage of the brigade, Colonel 
Ripley was struck from his horse and stunned by a piece of 
shell, which clipped the hair on his temple, but did no fur- 
ther harm, and he soon resumed direction of the movement of 
his brigade. Moving on to the right of the road, the Eighth 
Maine of his brigade became entangled in the swamp, and 
when the order to attack came a few moments later, the Ninth 
Termont had to go alone. In passing through the swamp 
and the felled timber beyond, the troops largely lost their 
organization, but kept on, all spurred to their utmost by 
the cheers of Stannard's division, which rose above the 
roar of artillery as they charged. As the men of the Ninth 
reached the open ground, they could see the First division 
pouring into the fort. Without waiting to re-form their 
ranks, they pushed for the works, Felix Quinn, the tall 



color-sergeant, leading with the colors. The regiment fol- 
lowed the general line of the Varina road, which, making 
a sharp turn to the right within GOO yards of Fort Harrison, 
ran directly past the front of the fort and the entrenchments 
leading from it to right and left. Fortunately, the guns of 
the fort were now in Stannard's hands, and Avere silent ; but 
a few hundred yards to the north, Battery Morris stood square- 
ly across the road, and its guns swept the road for a quarter 
of a mile. As the regiment started for the latter work, re- 
cruits vieing with veterans for the honor of being first over 
its parapets, the left companies veered to the right to avoid the 
felled timber, and crowded into the road, which at that 
point ran through a cut, which soon became filled with men. 
In vain Ripley, dreading a discharge of grape which might do 
fearful execution on such a mass, ordered them out of the 
road. They were too much excited to obey, and kept on as 
they were. The enemy's cannoneers, however, did not im- 
prove their opportunity ; and passing out of the cut, the line 
partially deployed, and all rushed in a wild race for the works 
in front. Fifteen or twenty of the fleetest runners, among 
whom was Colonel Ripley, were the first to reach and scram- 
ble over the ramparts of the battery. Its defenders with- 
drew as they sprang in, but halted a few feet away and de- 
livered a parting volley, which knocked over nearly every one 
inside the work. Lieutenant Dodge of company B received 
a ball in the leg. Sergeant Major Henry D. Belden, who was 
probably the first man inside the works, though a dozen 
sprang in about together, had a ball enter his wrist and 
come out above his elbow ; but with his sound arm he seized 
the trail of a gun, which Eipley was trying to wheel, saying: 
" Go on, colonel, we wounded men will work these guns.'* 
Sergeant Burlingame of company K and John Riley of com- 
pany B were badly wounded ; and others less severely. The 
remainder of the regiment at the same time piled into the 
rifle-pits on the right of Battery Morris, taking about forty 


prisoners. A lunette on tlie other side of tlie fort was taken 
by otlier troops, and Fort Harrison ana its accessory works 
on either hand, with 22 guns, were tnus carried and held. 

It was now ten o'clock, and so far all had gone well. 
But now Grant's well-arranged plan began to fail of ex- 
ecution. General Ord, exposing himself recklessly with the 
troops which were to sweep down the works to Chapin's 
Blufif, was wounded in the leg, and had to turn over the com- 
mand of the corps to General Heckman, who proved un- 
equal to the occasion. He had already partially modified 
the plan of the da}^ by sending Ripley in on Stannard's 
right, and now, instead of letting him pass inside the captured 
line to the rear of Fort Gilmer and take that work in reverse, 
he ordered him to assault it at once from the front. This was 
madness. The Tenth Corps had not arrived. The brigades 
of Jourdan and Fairchild of the Eighteenth Corps, Avhicli 
were needed for supports, were entangled in the swamps 
some distance back, and did not get out for hours after. 
Kipley had but the Ninth and a few men of the Eighth 
Maine (the rest of the latter regiment being still in the 
swamp) with which to assault a fort as strong as Fort Har- 
rison or stronger, and fully manned. Nevertheless he re- 
formed his command and started forward. He had not gone 
far before his progress was impeded by a slashing of oak tim- 
ber. Shells from the fort began to cut swaths through the 
regiment, and as it was plain that it would be a waste of 
life to advance, he ordered the command back to the nearest 
cover. The regiment, which had kept wonderfully steady 
under the example and orders of Major Brooks, accordingly 
fell back a short distance to a road-bed, sunk a foot or two 
below the surface, and by lying close to the ground obtained 
partial shelter, while Eipley sent an aid to General Heck- 
man to report the situation and to ask him to examine the 

About this time Ames's division of the Tenth Corps 


attacked the works extending from Fort Gilmer north- 
ward, and Brigadier General Birney's colored brigade as- 
saulted Gilmer with great bravery, biit without success. Its 
garrison had been heavily reinforced and nearly all the col- 
ored troops that reached its front were killed. The rest 
oame streaming back through the line of the .Ninth. After 
this repulse of a strong division from its ramparts, tlie order 
to a single Vermont regiment to attempt to carry Fort Gil- 
mer by storm was not renewed, and no further assault upon 
that portion of the enemy's works was made. To the left of 
Fort Harrison, towards the bluff, however, some of Stan- 
nard's division were still trying to make headway ; and late 
in the afternoon the Ninth was withdrawn from the front of 
Gilmer and sent thither. Here the regiment came under the 
fire of the Confederate gunboats which had come down from 
Bichmond to assist in the defence of the works ; and here 
Lieutenant Jenkins of company E, was mortally wounded by 
a large fragment of a shell, which cut off his right hand and 
buried itself in his left thigh, making a frightful wound. 

Offensive movements soon ended, and the Union gen- 
erals turned their attention to the task of making secure 
what they had gained. At nightfall the Ninth Vermont was 
taken to the south of Fort Harrison to form part of a line 
which was extended through slashing and cliapparal from 
the fort to the river. The men were worn out with loss of 
sleep, marching and excitement, and dropped as soon as 
halted. But they were not allowed to sleep. Shovels took 
the place of muskets, and the men dug wearily till the dawn. 

The loss of the Ninth Vermont this day was seven killed, 
42 wounded, six of whom died of their wounds^ and 13 miss- 
ing. Lieutenant Jenkins had his leg amputated near the 
body and died next day. Lieutenant Dodge received a ball 
in the leg. Among the slightly wounded were Colonel Eip- 
ley, Major Brooks and Acting Brigade Quartermaster T. S. 


Colonel Ripley thus describes a horrible incident, which 
occurred after the regiment had been halted in front of Fort 
Gilmer: "I was standing, field-glass in hand, watching the 
movements of the enemy. Major Brooks, Lieutenant Peck 
and two or tlnee others were in the group. The shelling 
was noisy. The men were lying thickly near my feet ; and 
almost under me was a private of a Massachusetts battery 
who had strayed into the ranks of the Ninth Vermont. He 
was frightened by the heavy explosions around and at each 
one would jump upon his feet and stare around as though 
crazy. I had told him three or four times to keep down ; 
but in a moment, after a louder crash, he sprang to his feet 
beforo rao. As he did so, I was dashed in the face with a 
streaming mass of something horrible, which closed my eyes, 
nose and mouth. I thought my own head had gone. I was 
helped to sit down and Captain Hart, of Heckman's stall", 
who had just come up, happening to have a towel in his 
pocket, they cleaned away the disgusting mass from my face 
with it, and I opened my eyes. Unbuttoning my sabre- 
belt, and throwing open my blouse, I threw out of it a mass 
of brains, skull, hair and blood. The headless trunk of the 
artillery-man lay between my feet, with the blood gurgling 
out with the pulsations of the heart not yet stopped. Major 
Brooks was hit by a spent piece of shell below the knee, and 
Lieutenant Peck on his belt and leg ; but none of us were 
seriously enough wounded to make it worth while alarming 
our friends at home by reporting it, so when Adjutant Liv- 
ingston, at night, asked if he should include me in his report 
of casualties I refused to allow it. Brooks and Peck did the 
same. If all the slightly wounded of the Ninth Vermont 
had been reported, as was done in some regiments, the regi- 
ment would have had a much larger list." ' 

' The killed of the rank and file were : Corporal William Moranville 
and John Mickman of company E ; George W. Patrick, John Nickerson 
and Leroy L. Bryant of company F ; Freeman Baker of company H ; 
Albert E. Newton of company K. 

The wounded were : Company A, Nelson C. Roberts, leg; George 


Assistant Surgeon Fairman was the only surgeon with 
the regiment that day. He was sent by the medical director 
of the corps, to Fort Harrison immediately after its capture ; 
went thither under fire, was the first surgeon there, and in a 
little operating hospital established on the grass in a hollow 
near the fort, he dressed the wounds not only of the men of 
the Ninth, but of other regiments, performing amputations 
and operations which some of the surgeons of other regi- 
ments did not feel equal to, all day and until it became too 
dark to operate. 

The charge of his old regiment on Battery Morris was 
watched with gratification by General Stannard from the 
parapet of Fort Harrison. General U. S. Grant rode into 
Fort Harrison not long after its capture, and personally com- 
phmented Stannard on the behavior and success of his divi- 
sion. The general-in-chief was not as well satisfied with 
some other officers, and that night General Heckman returned 

W. Robbins, heel ; Samuel M. Maynard, hand ; company B, Corporal 
Ho] den D. Baker, leg; John Riley, leg; Orick Sprague-, leg; Joseph La- 
fayette, breast ; company D, Corporal Norris E. Edwards, leg ; Eben S. 
Haskell, knee ; company E, Corporal George W. Davis, arm ; Corporal 
Henry Warboys, stunned ; Edward R. Cook, arm ; Allen E. Cutts, lost 
finger; Daniel Dwyer, arm (amputated) and leg; Edward Hawkins, leg; 
James Lunge, hip ; John Keating, side and foot ; Charles Phillips, leg ; 
Henry Sias, face ; Moses W. White, arm ; Calvin Wilson, hip ; company 
F, Corporal Henry Steady, leg; Corporal John L.Newton, hip; Lewis 
Blair, leg amputated ; John E. Jones, leg ; company G, Allen J. Dearborn, 
leg; Hatch Chamberlain, thigh; company H, Octave Bushy, elbow; 
Oberon Payne, knee, severe ; Jeremiah Bishop, leg ; company I, William 
L. Marston, heel; company K, Sergeant Sylvester C. Burlingame, leg ; 
Corporal Edwin R. Smith, head; William Waters, leg, slight; Denny E. 
Mason, back ; Harrison K. Bacon, leg. 

Of these John Riley, Joseph Lafayette, George W. Davis. John L. 
Newton, L. Blair and Edwin R. Smith, died of their wounds. 

Those reported missing were : Company A, Corporal William P. 
Yarrington, William C. Hair, Monroe Ingles, Edgar Minckler, James A. 
North, Emory S. Parker, George Papaw and Edwin Spicer ; company B, 
George W.Mason; company E, Daniel Ash; company F, Eli Sweeny; 
company I, Benjamin F. Stone ; company K, Orlin M. Whitney. 

Of the missing Eli Sweeny was never accounted for. 


to his division and General Weitzel was placed in command 
of tlie Eighteenth Corps. 

Thursday, the 29th of September, had been an exciting 
day. A scarcely less exciting one was to follow. There was 
active work that night on both sides. General Lee, who 
joined General Ewell on the north side of the James soon 
after the repulse of the Tenth Corps from Fort Gilmer, had 
decided that Fort Harrison must be retaken next day. He 
kept the Richmond and Petersburg railroad busy all night 
bringing troops ; and, by morning, ten brigades of Pickett's, 
Hoke's, and Wilcox's divisions were concentrated at and 
near Fort Gilmer, to assault Fort Harrison. The latter work 
was open to the rear when taken ; but during the afternoon 
Stannard's men were set at work with shovels to throw up a 
breastwork across the "gorge of the work, and so change it 
into an enclosed fort. They were relieved in this work by 
some colored troops during the night ; and by Friday morn- 
ing a rifle-pit had been dug two-thirds of the way across 
the rear, which had now become the front. The work was 
still open, however, for a space on the right. This gap was 
somewhat lessened, and the breastworks strengthened, during 
the forenoon, in spite of an incessant fire of shells which was 
maintained from the guns in tl 3 enemy's second line of 
works, and of "pots and kettles" from his gunboats in the 
river, while his sharpshooters picked off -all who exposed 
themselves outside the trenches. Meanwhile, behind the 
screen of woods, some 400 yards from Fort Harrison on its 
northwest quarter. General Lee was superintending in person 
the formation of his columns for the assault. These com- 
prised the brigades of Law, Anderson, Bratton, Clingman, 
and Colquitt, under the immediate command of General An- 
derson, who now commanded Longstreet's Corps. 

To meet this assault, Stannard had simply his infantry ; 
for the siege guns taken in the fort were not available for its 
defence, and a light battery which - had been taken into the 


work was found to be without ammunitiou, aud Stannard 
sent it back to the rear. By a piece of especial good fortune, 
a small supply of Spencer breech-loading rifles had been re- 
ceived just before the movement north of the James took 
place, and two regiments of Stannard's division — the Tenth 
New Hampshire aud One Hundred and Eighteenth New York 
— exchanged tlieir muskets for the improved arms, the night 
before the attack.' 

To these breech-loaders, Stannard always attributed in 
large part the salvation of the day, on Friday. In dispos- 
ing his troops to meet the expected attack he placed the 
troops armed with the Spencer rifles in the rifle-pits on his 
right, where he expected the main assault. The Second div- 
ision occupied entrenchments thrown up during the night 
before on the left of the fort, Ripley's brigade being on the 
right of the division, next to the fort. Shortly after noon, 
two field batteries opened sharply on the fort and the works 
on its left; and soon after the word " They are coming!" 
passed along Stannard's lines, as the Confederate masses 
emerged from the woods aud brush. Formed in three succes- 
sive lines, between 6,000 and 7,000 strong, they moved 
steadily over half the open space and then charged. The 
men of the Ninth, lying on the slope to the left of the fort, 
could not see what went on on the right ; but they heard 
the yell of the charge, followed by a burst of musketry from 
the fort, the breech-loaders adding a steady unbroken under- 
tone to the familiar rattle of the volleys. They heard and 
joined in the cheers from the garrison as the charge was re- 

' For these and the muzzle-loaders there was fortunately a supply of 
ammunition, owing to the energy of Captain P. K. Delaney, quartermaster 
of Stannard's division, who by great exertions got two wagon-loads of am- 
munition — one for the breech-loaders and one for the ordinary rifles — • 
across the river and up to Fort Harrison during the night following its 
capture. Next day a wagon-load was brought up to the sally-port of the 
fort by Captain Bryden, ordnance officer of the division, and Lieutenant 
Burbank of the Seventeenth Vermont and Lieutenant Cook of Stannard's 
staff distributed the ammunition. General Stannard had a fourth member 
of his staff wounded this day. 


pulsed. The enemy's assault was gallantly made, for they 
were fighting under the eye of General Lee ; but the slaugh- 
ter was too fearful to be endured. The masses halted and 
recoiled to the shelter of the Avoods, and the few who 
reached the ditch were killed or wounded or threw 
down their arms and came inside the fort as prisoners. 
Among these was an Alabama colonel, who with blood 
streaming down his face looked up to Stannard, who had 
taken his position on a traverse running through the fort, 
from which he could look down upon his lines on either side, 
and asked him if he was the commander of this fort ? Upon 
Stannard's affirmative answer, he rejoined: "Well, you had 
better get out of this, general, for General Lee is over 
there" (pointing toward Fort Gilmer), "and he says he 
will retake these works, if it takes half his army." Stan- 
nard's dry reply was that he should be "happy to see Gen- 
eral Lee whenever he chose to call." Twice more the Con- 
federate lines advanced in successive charges, and twice more 
the sheet of tire burst from Stannard's front, and they fell 
back in shattered fragments to the woods. During the sec- 
ond assault, the barracks built of pine logs inside the fort 
were set on fire by shells and burned furiously for a time, 
almost scorching the backs of the men in front ; but they 
kept their places while the stretcher-bearers pulled the bar- 
racks to pieces and threw earth upon the burning logs, for 
want of water. 

During these exciting hours Stannnrd paced the para- 
pet, sword in one hand and slouched hat in the other, watcli- 
ing every movement of each side, and cheering his men to 
their deadly work.' Just as the second assault ended, a bullet 

' " I have often said tha' Geaeral Staaaard held Fort Harrison against 
desperate odds, of men fighting under the inspiration Of Lee's own pres- 
ence, by the sTieer force of personal character. And there was not another 
division or another general of the Army of the James that could have done 
it. He was an army in himself in such. supreme moments." — General E. 
H. Ripley. 


struck his riglit arm, shattering the bone and whirling hi:u 
half around. He was assisted from the traverse to the 
ground and sank back fainting, A shiver passed along the 
lines, as close upon the cheers of victory came the whispered 
word : " Stannard is killed ! " The news spread at once 
to the Ninth Vermont, just outside the fort, and was re- 
ceived with the deepest grief by all. But the general was 
not killed ; and though the defence of Fort Harrison cost 
him his arm, he had the satisfaction of knowing that neither 
then nor at any subsequent time was that important work 
relinquished to the enemy. The three assaults upon the fort 
cost Lee one-third of the storming force, killed and woiinded, 
besides a number captured.' 

Concerning Fort Harrison and its capture an English 
field-officer, of rank and experience, who visited it a feu- 
days after, wrote as follows to the London Star : "I 
" rode to the nearest point to Richmond in possession of the 
*' federal army. This is called Fort Harrison. It is about 
" six miles and a quarter from Richmond ; a strong earthern 
"fort and so placed that the taking of it is quite unaccount- 
" able. It is on a hill with a natural glacis of six or seven 
" hundred yards, which good gunners should sweep against 
" all comers —taking into account an extensive abatis, con- 
" structed by felling the trees and pointing them outwards. 
"It should have been toilsome, dangerous work to have 
" traversed that long slope. However, there is the fort in 
" the hands of the Federals, be it attributable to pluck, luck, 
" surprise, treachery, scare, or whatever explanation." 

The fort was not surprised — -the enemy had several 
hours after daylight, and after the movement became de- 

' The tabular statement in the "Medical and Surgical History of the 
War" puts the Confederate loss this day at 3,000, killed and wounded, 
and many were taken prisoners. Bratton's brigade had 377 killed and 
wounded. The Confederate losses in the two days probably exceeded 
2,500. On the Union side they were 1,948 killed and wounded, and 32-1 


veloped, in whicli to prepare for its defence. It was not 
surrendered by treachery, but was ably defended, to the sad 
cost of Stannard's division, which lost 600 men in killed and 
wounded in the assault. Its capture was due to simple 
pluck on the part of the troops, combined with cool, reso- 
lute and able handling on the part of their division com- 

For the next four weeks the Ninth remained in the 
trenches between Fort Harrison and the river, often under 
fire from the enemy's artillery. This, however, subsided af- 
ter a week or two, and the relations between the opposing 
lines and pickets became almost friendly. 


On the 27th of October the regiment took part in a 
fresh demonstration against Richmond. The movement was 
to be simultaneous with a movement made by General 
Meade against the South Side Railroad. The two move- 
ments were alike unsuccessful and each cost the Union 
army over a thousand men in killed, wounded and missing. 
General Grant's orders to Butler were to feel out to the 
right beyond his front and if possible to turn the enemy's 
left, but not to attack any intrenched position — the main 
object being to prevent reinforcements from being sent from 
Richmond to Petersburg. General Butler committed the 
charge of the movement to General Weitzel, commanding the 
Eighteenth Corps. This corps was to be moved to the right, 
behind the lines of the Tenth Corps, and advance against 
Richmond by the Williamsburg road. Butler and Weitzel 
hoped to make a dash into Richmond, or at any rate to get 
behind the second line of works south of Richmond and to 
flank the enemy out of them. They were encouraged to be- 
lieve this to be possible by a report that the enemy's lines 
north of the James were defended by but two divisions — 
those of Field and Pickett. This, however, was a mistake. 


Hoke's division was at this time north of the James as well 
as those named, besides a force of local militia under Gen- 
eral Ewell, and a cavalry brigade ; the whole under the capa- 
ble command of General Longstreet, who, having recovered 
from his wound received in the Wilderness, had just returned 
to his corps. Weitzel's advance was delayed, in part through 
the delays and inaction of the cavalry which was to precede 
and mask the movement. Longstreet at once divined its 
purpose and extended his lines to correspond with Weitzel's 
movement ; and when the latter pushed in near Fair Oaks, 
against a line of breastworks which he supposed to be 
thinly defended by dismounted cavalry, he found them fully 
manned ; was received by a heavy musketry fire, and was 
repulsed with serious loss. Upon his right Holman's brig- 
ade of colored troops carried some works along the New 
Bridge road, but was driven out of them. This ended the 
fighting for the day, and the Eighteenth Corps was with- 
drawn and returned next day to its former position near the 

The part of this affair that fell to the Ninth was princi- 
pally hard and uncomfortable marching, though it lay for a 
while under fire. The regiment, commanded by Lieut. 
Colonel Barney, drew out of its lines with Ripley's brigade, 
after dark on the 26th ; moved a short distance to the rear ; 
bivouacked for the rest of the night, and starting early next 
morning made a hard march of fifteen miles, to the Williams- 
burg road, near the old battle-ground of Seven Pines. In 
the formation of Heckman's division for the attack, in the 
afternoon, the brigade was placed in the second line on the 
left of the road, with Fairchild's brigade in front. During 
the assault made by the latter, the supporting lines Avere kept 
down ; and though the regiments in front of it — the One 
Hundred and Eighteenth New York and Nineteenth Wiscon- 
sin - lost fearfully, the Ninth suffered the loss of but ten men 
killed and wounded, most of them by artillery fire. One man, 


Alonzo P. Grover of company K, was killed ; and one, Stephen 
B. Wing of company E, a man of 47 years, died of exhaus- 
tion from the fatigue of the march. Lieutenant W. A. Dodge 
of company B received a wound in the leg.' 

The regiment bivouacked on the Darbytown road, within 
five miles of Richmond, at three o'clock in the morning of 
the 28th ; slept three hours in the rain ; was then formed in 
line at seven, and expected to charge the enemy's works ; but 
no order to attack came, and during the day it was with- 
drawn. The march back to the Charles City road that night 
will not soon be forgotten by any one who took part in it. 
The night was dark ; rain poured in torrents ; infantry, cav- 
alry and artillery crowded each otlier in the narrow and 
slippery road ; and though the progress made was very slow, 
more than half tho regiment straggled or got astray. 
Towards morning a halt was made ; most of the stragglers 
came up, after daylight, and the march was continued back 
to camp. The men arrived weary, hungry, covered with 
mild and depressed by the failure of the movement. Dr. 
Fairman accompanied the regiment, established a hospital 
in an old house, about three o'clock p. m., and dressed the 
wounds of Vermonters and of other soldiers till dark. 

On the 1st of November, in consequence of apprehen- 
sions of a renewal of the New York riots of 1853, upon the 
occasion of the Presidential election. General Butler was 
ordered to proceed at once to New York, and to take with 
him some trusty troops from the Army of the James to main- 
tain order in the metropolis. He selected the Ninth as part 
of the force. On the 2d of November the regiment marched 
to Deep Bottom and took transports for Fortress Monroe, 

' The rank and tile wouaded were : Corporal David M. Buffum of com- 
pany B, head, slight; Lewis Bissonette of company P, head, slight; Peter 
Ladue of company H, hip, slight ; Edward B. Bissett of company K, shoul- 
der, severe ; Joel Grout of company K, ankle, severe ; George W. Smith, 

George W. Smith died of his wo unds seven weeks later. 


where, on being transferred to a steamer bound for New 
York, the men first learned tlieir destination. 

An incident of this departure is Avorth relating. Cor- 
poral Charles H. Sweeney was out on picket with fifteen 
men, when the regiment started for Deep Bottom, and was 
not recalled in time to embark with it. Hailing a tug which 
was going down the river, he was taken aboard with his men 
and carried to City Point. Here he reported to the provost 
marshal. Sweeney's story that his regiment had left him 
and gone off he knew not where, seemed suspicious to 
that officer; and he infoi'med the corporal with some heat 
that he believed him and his men to be deserters, and 
that he should put them all in the guard-house. An emphatic 
denial of the charge, by Sweeney, and a refusal to go to the 
lock-up, evoked an order from the angry officer to his assist- 
ants to "hand-cuff this man, and take him to the bull-pen." 
But as it happened, the corporal was in greater force on the 
spot than the provost marshal, and he did not hesitate to 
use his advantage. Ordering his men to fix bayonets, Swee- 
ney posted ten of them as a guard over the provost marshal's 
office, with strict orders to let no one pass in or out, while 
with the remainder he started for headquarters. He soon 
found himself in front of the quarters, as he supposed, of the 
general commanding the post ; and, making known his stor}^ 
to the orderly at the door, was ushered into the presence of 
— General U. S. Grant! The general bade the corporal be 
seated, inquired what regiment he belonged to, and listened, 
with a twinkle of the eye, as Sweeney related how he had put 
the provost marshal under guard, while he came to see what 
the general commanding would say about locking up in the 
bull-pen some good Vermont soldiers, who were trying to 
rejoin their regiment. " We'll see about that," said the gen- 
eral ; and, sitting down, he wrote a note for the corporal to 
liand to the provost mai'slial. That officer's cheek blanched 
as Sweeney informed him that he had a line from General 


Grant for him, and his hand trembled as he took the note. 
He at once despatched an aid with the Vermonters to the 
commissar}', and after being rationed they were provided 
with transportation to New York, where they rejoined their 
regiment, the bold corporal not a little elated over the result 
of his interview with the general-in-chief of the armies of the 
United States. 

One hundred and forty men who were out on picket, 
under command of Lieutenant T. S. Peck, were also left be- 
hind, and followed the regiment on another steamer. 

At New York the regiment was quartered on steamers in 
the North and East rivers, company K being sent to Troy, 
N. Y., to protect the Watervliet arsenal. The weather was 
cold and rainy, and the men had little opportunity to see 
friends or the sights of the city. The election passed off 
quietly on the 8th, and the troops were ordered back to the 
front. While at New York, says Adjutant General Wash- 
burn, "the regiment proved themselves worthy of the trust 
reposed in them and were highly complimented for their be- 
havior and their entire reliability. Not a man left his post." 
The regiment rendezvoused at Fort Richmond, Staten 
Island ; embarked on the John E. Rice, November 15th; ar- 
rived at Deep Bottom on the 17th, and by the 18th was 
back in its old camp at Chapin's Farm. 

During the ten weeks after the regiment moved to 
Chapin's Farm in September the detachment of a hundred 
men under Lieutenant Jewett which had been stationed at 
Fort Dutton, remained there on the Bermuda Hundred front, 
and had some exciting experiences. On the night of Sep- 
tember 30th, they were called into the trenches to help repel 
a Confederate assault, which was repulsed by the artillery in 
Fort Dutton. During* the next two months several attempts 
were made by the enemy to advance their lines at and near 
that point ; and an attempt was made on the Union side to 
retake a portion of the line which the enemy had earned. 


After these efforts ceased, picket firing became continual, 
and as the lines were very near each other, the service was 
dangerous. The ugly feeling between the pickets, however, 
subsided after a while, and hostilities in that vicinity were 
confined to artillery duels, which were frequent. November 
21st, Lieutenant Jewett resigned, leaving Sergeant Charles 
F. Branch in charge of the detail. On the 28th the detach- 
ment was relieved, and joined the regiment at Chapin's 

On the 4th of November Surgeon Carpenter resigned, 
and on the 15th the vacancy was filled by the promotion of 
Assistant Surgeon Yincent, who had been for a time in 
charge of four wards of the Chesapeake General Hospital, 
filled with wounded men from the armies of the Potomac 
and of the James and with wounded Confederate officers ; 
and he now rejoined the regiment. 

The men of the Ninth built log huts and settled down 
for the winter ; and the quiet in that quarter was only varied 
by occasional collisions with the enemy's pickets ; by the 
shotted salutes with which the Union batteries welcomed 
the news of Sheridan's victories in the valley, and by occa- 
sional spells of heavy shelling from the enemy's guns. 

On the 4th of December the Tenth and Eighteenth 
Corps were broken up and the troops re-aiTanged into the 
Twenty-fourth Corps, of white regiments, and the Twenty- 
fifth, of colored troops. In this reorganization Colonel Rip- 
ley returned to the command of the Ninth Yermont, which 
now became a part of the Second (Potter's) brigade of the 
Third (Devens's) division of the Twenty-fourth Corps. A 
few recruits had been received in October and the regiment 
was one of the largest infantry regiments in the army, turn- 
ing out over GOO muskets. The other regiments of the brig- 
ade were the Tenth and Twelfth New Hampshire, the 
Ninety-sixth New York and the Fifth Maryland. On the 
10th and 11th of December, a demonstration in force by 


Longstreet against the right of the Union lines called out all 
the troops north of the James. The Ninth at this time lay 
in line of battle for part of two days, in mud whitened with 
snow, and from this time on the regiment was required- to 
fall in at 4 o'clock every morning, and stand to arms till 

Various changes of officers in the line took place during 
the closing months of the year. Adjutant Livingston was 
promoted to the captaincy of company G, and was suc- 
ceeded as adjutant by Sergeant Major Belden, Sergeant John 
Thomas of company F becoming sergeant major; Quarter- 
master Francis O. Sawyer was promoted to be Captain and 
A. Q. M. and Commissary Sergeant Franklin E. Kice was 
appointed quartermaster ; Lieutenant Leavenworth of com- 
pany K was promoted to be captain ; Second Lieutenant 
Cleveland was appointed first lieutenant of company A, vice 
Lieutenant Jewett, resigned ; Lieutenant Dodge, in whose 
case gangrene had supervened in his wound received at 
Fair Oaks, was honorably discharged on account of his in- 
juries ; Lieutenant James F. Bolton, who had never recov- 
ered from his wound received at Newport Barracks, was 
transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, and Lieutenant 
Herbert H. Moore was promoted in his place ; Second Lieu- 
tenant Joel C. Baker was promoted first lieutenant of com- 
pany K ; Sergeant J. S. Halbert was appointed second lieu- 
tenant of company A ; Sergeant A. W. Hathaway, second 
lieutenant of company B ; Sergeant George W. Sneden, 
second lieutenant of company C ; Sergeant R. F. Parker^ 
second lieutenant of company E ; Sergeant C. F. Branch, 
second lieutenant of company H ; and Sergeant S. C. Bur- 
lingame, second lieutenant of company K. Captain Leaven- 
worth was detailed as assistant adjutant general of the 
brigade. Captain Kelley as assistant inspector general, Cap- 
tain Viele as ordnance officer of the third division of the 
Twenty-fifth Corps, and Lieutenant Peck as aid on the staff 

of the brigade commander. 



The morniug report, on the coming iu of the New 
Tear, showed an aggregate for the Ninth of 1,136, with 743 
men for duty and a sick list of 383. 

The remainder of the Avinter passed for the most part in 
the usual routine in the trenches and in winter quarters. On 
the 24th of January the Confederate gunboats at Richmond 
came down the river, in an attempt to reach City Point and 
destroy the immense quantities of army stores there collected. 
They were driven back by the Union batteries, with the loss 
of the Confederate ram Drury, which was sunk. Some 
threatening demonstrations on the part of the enemy's in- 
fantry accompanied this effort, and the Ninth Vermont was 
called into line, with the other troops of the corps, in an- 
ticipation of an attack ; but the affair ended with the retreat 
of the gunboats. 

During these winter months battalion drills were sys- 
tematically resumed. Colonel Ripley's ambition to have the 
Ninth second to no regiment in the army in drill, discipline 
and appearance, was shared by the officers and men, and 
they entered with enthusiasm into the preparations for the 
competitive inspections which had been instituted by the 
corps commander. On the 20th of February the regiment 
passed a rigid inspection, in competition with the other regi- 
ments of the brigade; was pronounced " the best in order" 
by General Potter ; and by general order from division head- 
quarters was excused from picket duty and outside details 
for a week. The 100-gun salute with which the news of 
Sherman's occupation of Charleston and Columbia, S. C, 
was greeted, on the day when this order was promulgated, 
was appropriated in part by the Yermonters as a celebration 
of their bloodless victory. 

A similar inspection took place March 6th, with a sim- 
ilar result, and again the Ninth was excused from picket 
duty, as the best regiment in the brigade. 

On the 10th of March the regiments which had been 


pronounced the best in the respective brigade inspections, 
competed in an inspection by General Devens ; and by a 
third general order it was declared that " after a careful in- 
spection the Ninth Vermont Yolunteers is found to be the 
best regiment in the division," and it was accordingly ex- 
cused from picket duty and details for an additional week. 
In this inspection the regiment competed with other crack 
regiments which had drawn new clothing for the occasion, 
while they had only their old clothes ; but the superiority of 
the Ninth in appearance and drill was undeniable. The 
regiment declined to accept this third release from picket 
duty, and on the 15th an order issued by General Devens, 
was read on dress parade, in front of each regiment in the 
division, reciting the facts and commending the soldierly 
spirit evinced by the Ninth Vermont.' 

This action of the regiment was the voluntary proposal 
of the men, and not of their officers, and it was allowed on 
all hands that the Vermonters could not be outdone in 
courtesy any more than in efficiency and in appearance. 

Headquarters Third Division,) 
24th A. C, February 20tli, 1865. jT 

' Special Order No. 35. 


III. The following named regiments having been inspected in accord- 
ance with General Order No. 11, Headquarters Twenty-fourth Army 
Corps, dated January 17th, 1865, and pronounced the best in order, by the 
brigade commanders of their respective brigades, are, under the provisions 
of the above mentioned order, excused from all picket and other outside 

details for one week. 

« « « « « 

Ninth Vermont Volunteers. 

By order of Col. E. M. Ccllkn, 

(Signed) Geo. W. Hooker, 

Captain and A. A. G. 

Special Order, No. 42. 

Headquarters Third Division, ) 
24th Army Corps, March 6th, 1865. f 


II. The following named regiments having been inspected in accord- 
ance with General Order No. 11, Headquarters Twenty-fourth Army 
Corps, dated January 17th. 1865, and pronounced the best in order by the 


As the Third division was at this time declared by the 
Inspector General of the corps to be in " an excellent state 
of discipline, thoroughly equipped in every respect and as 
completely fitted for the field as a command can well be," to 
be pronounced the best regiment in the division was no 
slight honor.' 

March 17th, the regiment took part in a review and in- 
spection of the Twenty-fourth Corps by General Grant and 
Secretary Stanton. On the 26th, President Lincoln reviewed 
the corps. On the 22d General Eipley was assigned to 
the command of the First brigade of the Third division of 
the Twenty-fourth Corps, — a fine brigade of six regiments — 
and took farewell of the Ninth as its immediate commander, 
though never losing sight of it or interest in its welfare. On 
the 11th of March, Lieutenant T. S. Peck was promoted to 
be Captain and A. Q. M of Volunteers, and assigned to duty 
on the staff of General Ripley. 

brigade commanders of their respective brigades, are, under the provis- 
ions of the above mentioned Order, excused from all picket and other out- 
side details for one week. 

Second Brigade, Ninth Reg't. Vt, Vols. 

By order of Bkig. General Devens, 

(Signed) Geo. W. Hooker, 

Captain and A. A. G. 

Hkadqtjaeteks Third DivisioN, ) 
24th Army Corps, March 10th, 1865. ) 

Special Order. No. 45. 

I. In accordance with General Order, No. 11, dated Headquarters 
Twenty-fourth Army Corps, January 17th, 1865, the regiments selected by 
brigade commanders as the best in their respective commands, were in- 
spected at these headquarters, and after a careful inspection the Ninth 
Vermont Volunteers was found to be the best regiment in this division. It 
is therefore by the provisions of the above mentioned order, excused from 
all picket and outside details for one additional week. 

By order of Bkig. General Devens, 

(Signed) Geo. W. Hooker, 

Captain and A. A. G. 

' In a competitive examination of picked soldiers of the different regi- 
ments of the Second brigade, a Vermonter took the palm, and a special 
order from the brigade headquarters, dated March 15th, directed that Cor- 
poral Richard D. Wheeler, Co. H, 9th Vt. Vols., be excused from picket 
and outside duty for two weeks, "he having been pronounced the best 
soldier in the brigade." 


The last week in March was a period of intense expecta- 
tion of some decisive movement. Grant's operations against. 
Lee's right, culminating in the battle of Five Forks, were im 
preparation and progress, and at this time Lee made the 
for him disastrous assault upon Fort Steadman. The swells 
and ripples from these commotions extended all along the 
lines, north as well as south of the James. The men were 
kept in constant readiness for action, with tents struck, ra- 
tions ready, and arms stacked. Some minor movements of 
the brigade, one toward Deep Bottom and another to the 
right for a mile, took place on successive days, the regiment 
returning from each to its former position. General Ord, 
with two divisions of his corps, was moved to the Petersburg 
front to take part in the final assault, leaving Devens's divi- 
sion and two di^asions of colored troops, all under com- 
mand of General Weitzel, commanding the Twenty-fifth 
Corps. After this change, Devens's division had to guard 
the front previously held by the entire Twenty-fourth Corps, 
and the Ninth did the duty of a brigade. 

During the long day of Sunday, April 2d, when Wright 
and Ord and Humphreys and Parke were forcing the lines of 
Petersburg, the men north of the James stood listening to 
the rapid artillery firing, sounding like incessant thunder, 
from the left, and seeing the clouds of white powder-smoke 
roll up from the south of Petersburg. It was plain to all 
that tremendous and probably decisive fighting was in 
progress ; but how the fight was going, none knew. It was a 
day of deep suspense, and all stood in expectation of imme- 
diate orders to go into battle. The sounds drew nearer dur- 
ing the afternoon, and at nightfall the flashes of the guns in 
the bombardment in front of Petersburg, with whicli Grant 
celebrated the success of the day, were distinctly visible. 
Then came the news that Grant had broken through the de- 
fences of Petersburg, followed by the expected order to make 


ready to assault the defences of Richmond at daylight next 


That night the picket line between the Varina and 
New Market roads, at the point of the Union lines nearest to 
Richmond, was held b}' a detail of 120 men of the Ninth 
Vermont and 50 of the Twelfth New Hampshire, nnder 
command of Captain A. E. Leavenworth, of company K, who 
had just returned to his company after a long absence on 
staff duty. With him were Lieutenants Joel C. Baker, com- 
pany B, and Burnham Cowdrj', company G. There was no 
sleeping on picket that night ; every man was intent and 
watchful, though none expected that Richmond would be re- 
linquished without a last desperate struggle. 

But Jefferson Davis and his cabinet were already on their 
way to Danville, and the Confederate troops in front 
were noiselessly withdrawing from the works, to follow the 
sullen and silent column of the garrison of Richmond which 
was pouring out of its opposite portals. About two 
o'clock in the morning the unusual stillness of the enemy, 
which had begun to be noticed, was broken by the sound of 
heavy explosions, unlike those of cannon, from the direction 
of the river, where the blowing up of the rebel gunboats had 
commenced ; and soon after the light of the burning tobacco 
ware-houses, with which the conflagration of the city began, 
shining dimly through the fog, lit the sky above the city. 
Before daylight, a deserter came in, and informed Captain 
Leavenworth that the Confederate troops were abandoning 
their works. He was at once sent to General Devens, who re- 
turned an order to move the whole line forward at daybreak. 
Sooner than that it was not deemed wise to advance, as the 
approaches to the Confederate works were known to be 
planted with torpedoes. The morning was foggy and day- 
light came slowly ; but, as soon as the fog lifted, the picket 


line started forward, along the New Market road, led by 
Major Brooks of the Ninth, inspector general on General 
Devens's staff, and Captain Bruce of the Thirteenth New 
Hampshire, provost marshal. The nearest line of works was 
soon reached and passed, with the loss of but one man killed 
by a torpedo — the spots beneath which the torpedoes lay 
having been indicated by the Confederates, for the protection 
of their own men, by small stakes bearing red rags — and 
the detachment advanced some two miles further, when it 
halted in consequence of information received from some 
women who were met upon the road, that the Confederate 
rear-guard was only a little way in front. Colonel Bamber- 
ger, of the Fifth Maryland, the division field-officer of the 
day, here joined Captain Leavenworth, and under his orders 
the latter deployed his men as skirmishers, extending to the 
left across the Osborn turnpike, and again advanced. Near 
the junction of the turnpike and the New Market road, the 
skirmishers halted for a few moments to rest, when General 
Draper, commanding a brigade of colored troops, which had 
been holding the line to the left of Devens's division, accom- 
panied by his stafl' and about sixty of his men, came up, 
inquired if the road in front was clear, and pushed on by the 
turnpike. The Vermonters had just begun a hurried lunch, 
but they did not intend to be beaten in the race for Rich- 
mond by any other infantry, white or black ; and they were 
not. At Leavenworth's order, they promptly rallied, and 
started forward on a run. They were we.ary with twenty-four 
hour's duty on picket ; had had no breakfast, and were loaded 
with forty rounds of ammunition and three day's rations, 
while the darkies had only their muskets ; but, led by Leav- 
enworth, coatless and bare-headed, they overtook, lapped, 
and passed their colored comrades, in spite of the utmost 
efforts of the latter. At Battery Two of the inner line of 
Confederate redoubts, they overtook General Draper, who 
•was waiting for his men to come up. He ordered the Ver- 


monters to halt, and threatened to court-martial their officers 
if they did not obey ; but they had started for Richmond, 
and declining to recognize his authority, they pushed on. 
Soon General Weitzel, with Majors Stevens and Graves and 
Captain Hooker of his staff and a squadron of cavalry, rode 
up at a gallop and passed on, amid the cheers of the men, 
who followed with fresh speed. 

As the skirmishers entered the city, a small national 
flag, which had been kept concealed by loyal hands for 
years in waiting for this hour, was thrust out of a window 
and waved in welcome to the Ai'my of the Union. It was 
snatched by Captain Leavenworth, and held aloft. The 
effect was electrical. Each breathless and limping vete- 
ran became a leaping and shouting hero ; and so, with the 
stars and stripes borne in front of them in triumph, cheered 
by the loyal blacks, who thronged around the flag-bearer and 
kissed the National emblem, and cheering as became the first 
Union infantry to bear the national colors into the capital of 
the Confederacy, the Vermonters passed on to Church Hill. 
Here they halted to await the coming of General Devens. 

General Devens has thus described the scene as he drew 
bridle on the hill: "Richmond lay before us. The heavy 
fog of the river, mingled with the dense clouds of smoke, 
hung over it like a pall, and relieved against the vapors 
came up the lurid flames from the burning arsenals and 
ware-houses which had been set on fire by some unac- 
countable madness of the rebel commander as he retreated 
from the three blazing bridges which had spanned the noble 
James, and from the gunboats, once a formidable fleet on the 
river. Every moment the earth seemed to vibrate with the 
explosions of the magazines of the gunboats and the arsenals 
with which the city had been filled. It was a sight of terri- 
ble magnificence, and might well fill the heart of every Union 
soldier with enthusiasm. We knew that our work was done, 
fully and completely done, and that it was the Confederacy 


that was passing away in the fervent heats on which we 
gazed." The Vermonters drew up in line, and sahited Gen- 
eral Devens as he arrived ; were complimented by him upon 
being the first troops of the line to enter the city ; and were 
directed by him to accompany their comrades, soon to be on 
the spot, and assist in the task of putting out the fires and 
restoring order. The column of the division was soon formed, 
and proceeded in the following order: General Devens and 
stafi^; Captain Leavenworth's detachment, leading the skir- 
mish details of the Tenth and Twelfth New Hampshire, 
Tenth Connecticut, Fifth Maryland and Ninety-sixth and One 
Hundred and Eighteenth New Tork ; the First brigade. 
General Eipley ; the Second brigade. Colonel Donahue ; the 
Third brigade, Colonel Roberts ; and the light artillery. ' 

General Ripley has graphically described, for these 
pages, the entry into the city, as follows : 

At last, at about 7:30 or 8 o'clock in the morning we 
approached Rocketts, the steamboat landing at the lower 
extremity of the city, where the rebel iron-clads had been 
lying. There I received orders to deploy a strong line of 
guards across from the river up the ravine of Shocko Creek, 
with orders to permit no one to pass it but to turn everyone 
back to join his command at once and get ready to make a 
formal entry of the city. I was also ordered to dress up my 
own command and put all my regimental bands at the head 
of my column. I happened to have three of these, an un- 
usual number. 

While this was going on an iron-clad which was yet 
lying in the stream abreast of us, the last of all the river 
fleet, blew up with a terrific concussion, nearly knocking us 
off our feet and overwhelming us with a tempest of black 
smoke, cinders and debris. I do not remember that any one 
was injured, though part of it went over our heads into the 
field beyond. 

' Brevet Brigadier General E. H. Ripley has command of the forces iu 
this city. His brigade was the first that entered the city. Lieutenant C. 
B. Gaffney, aid to General Ripley, was met at the City Hall by the Mayor, 
who, we are informed, turned over the building and contents iu his usual 
affable manner. — Richmond Whig, April 5, 1865. 


The roar of tlie exploding arsenals, magazines and ware- 
houses filled with the explosives of the Ordnance Bureau was 
deafening and aAve-inspiring, At this moment Colonel 
George W. Hooker, assistant adjutant general of the third 
division, rode up to me and said : " You are in luck to-daj, 
general. General Weitzel has given orders that you are to 
have the head of the column in the triumphal entry which 
we are about ready to make into the city." I was of course 
elated at this, for it might have been possible that General 
Weitzel would have chosen to give to the colored troops of 
his own corps the place of honor for the pageant, as Horace 
Greely in his " History of the Great Conflict," erroneously 
avers that he did. But that would have been a great in- 
justice to General Devens and to me ; for my brigade of that 
division was the first on the main line ; the first over the 
second line, and the first at Rocketts ; and Devens's was 
the only division which kept its formation perfect and could 
have attacked Ewell had he come to bay. My brigade was 
at that moment at the head of the column, because we had 
taken it and kept it. No one got ahead of us but the little 
group of cavalry from Weitzel's headquarters, which had 
overtaken and passed us, but which did not pass the enemy's 
lines until after my message had reached General Devens 
and been forwarded to Weitzel.' It had happened that my 
own regiment, the Ninth Vermont, furnished a very heavy 
detail for picket on Sunday night, under the command of 
Captain Abel E. Leavenworth of company K, one of its most 
alert, energetic and capable oflicers, and they Avent forward 
with my line of skirmishers. So that though the Ninth Ver- 
mont Volunteers was not in my own brigade, I had the ex- 
treme gratification of having them alone, of the regiments 
of Donahue's brigade, share in an equal degree the pride 
and glory of being first over the works and into Richmond. 

At length every preparation was completed that could 
be hastily made to give the entry of the Union troops an 
imposing character. No time could be taken for this, as we 
seemed about to enter a sea of fire or rather the crater of an 
active volcano, and if any portion of the doomed capital was 
to be saved it had to be done quickly. I have never known 
w^hat hour it was, that with my three bands at the head of 
my column and taking my place behind them, I turned in 
my saddle and cried "forward!" to the eager troops. The 

' This was a message sent to General Devens at daybreak by General 
Ripley, that he (Ripley) was already pushing over the enemy's works, and 
asking him to hurry up supports. 


"bands had arranged a succession of Union airs wliich bad 
not been heard for many days in the streets of the Confed- 
erate capital, and had arranged to reheve each other so that 
there should be no break in the exultant strain of patriotic 
music during any portion of the march. The route was up 
Broad street to the Exchange Hotel, then across to Main 
street and up Main to Capitol Square. The city was 
packed with a surging mob of Confederate stragglers and 
negroes, and mob rule had been supreme from the moment 
Ewell crossed the James and burned the long bridge behind 
him. The air was darkened by the thick tempest of black 
smoke and cinders which swept through the streets, and as 
w^e penetrated deeper into the city the bands were almost 
drowned by the crashing of buildings, the roar of the flames 
and the terrific explosions of shells in the burning ware- 
houses. Densely packed on either side of the street were 
thousands upon thousands of blacks, till that moment slaves, 
down upon their knees, throwing their hands wildly in the 
air, while floods of tears poured down their wild faces, 
and shouting "Glory to God! Glory to God! the day of 
Jubilee hab come ! Massa Linkum am here ! Massa Linkum 
am here ! " They threw themselves on their faces almost under 
our horses' feet to pray and give thanks in the wild delirium 
of their sudden deliverance. Although the stores had been 
gutted and were open, the houses were closed, and when we 
reached the better resident portion of the town the blinds 
were all tightly shut and none of the better classes of the 
whites were to be seen, though we saw occasionall}' an eye 
peering through the blinds. At the gate of the square, op- 
posite to the east entrance of the Confederate capitol, an aid 
of General Weitzel was waiting with orders to me to halt the 
head of the column there, and then to report to General Weit- 
zel at the eastern porch. After giving the order " to rest in 
place," I passed through the gate into the park, followed by 
my staff and cavalry escort, and made my way to the east 
front. I found the lawn and shrubbery crowded with the 
headquarters cavalry of the corps and division commanders. 
Upon the broad landing at the head of the steps, were Gen- 
eral Weitzel and staff and General Devens and stafl', and 
grouped around, making an imposing dramatic scene in this 
closing act of the rebellion, were the division commanders 
of the Twenty-fifth Corps of colored troops, together with 
the Hon. Joseph Mayo, the mayor of the city, and the other 
city officials. These gentlemen had driven out in a baroviche 
to a point where they met the head of the column and ten- 


dered with great effect the keys of the fallen city and begged 
the clemency of the Northern victors. 

I dismounted at the bottom and ascended to General 
Weitzel, who stood the central figure of the brilliant group. 
I stopped two steps down and saluted him, when he said : 
"I have sent for you, General Ripley, to inform you that I 
have selected you to take command in this city, and your 
brigade as its garrison. I have no orders further to com- 
municate except to say that I want this conflagration 
stopped and the city saved if it is in the bounds of human 
possibility, and you have carte blanche to do it in your own 
way." I do not remember exchanging any suggestions wdth 
him then, except to say that I wanted the other troops, es- 
pecially the colored troops, withdrawn wholly from the city. 
He thereupon gave orders to the division commanders to 
march their troops through the city and go into camp along 
the interior line of works and give no passes into the city. 
This was done, yet I had more or less trouble from the 
depredations and disorder of the colored troops, many of 
whom went directly to their old masters and mistresses to 
enjoy a triumph over them. It was reported to me that one 
went into a residence not far from my headquarters down 
Main street, where his wdfe was still a servant. They made 
the lady and her cLaughters bring oiit their finest clothing and 
ornaments, play lady's maids to the black woman, and pre- 
pare dinner for their former servants. While it was going on, 
and the ladies were waiting on the table, w^ord was got to a 
white safe-guard in the neighborhood, who appeared on the 
scene to arrest the man. He tiirned savagely on the guard, 
who in his turn was obliged in self-defense to use his bayonet 
on him and ran him through. I never knew how true this 
report was, in the hurry and confusion of that first week. * 

Leaving General Weitzel, I returned to my brigade ; hur- 
riedly selected the City Hall, opposite the Capitol buildings, 
for my headquarters ; and dispatched regimental commanders, 
under the guidance of the city officials, to select in the vari- 
ous quarters of the city proper points at which to establish 
their regiments for effective work. I dispatched other officers 
with members of the city fire department to get out the 
engines and hose-carts, but found to our utter astonishment 
and dismay that, to make the destruction of their Capitol 
more certain and complete, the Confederate rear-guard had 
cut the hose in pieces and disabled the engines. The wanton 
destruction of Columbia by the troops of Sherman's army, 
even if true — and it is not true — cannot be compared with 


tlie ruthless barbarity of the rebel troops. At Richmond 
they attemj^ted the destruction of their capital, filled as it 
was to overflowing with thousands of defenceless women and 
children congregated from all over the South, and with thou- 
sands more of the sick and wounded of their own army, when 
its destruction could not have the effect to sustain the sink- 
ing Confederacy one instant. The burning of Moscow by the 
stern Bostoptchin, was terrible but efl'ective warfare; yet lie 
first drove the unfortunate inhabitants out. He destroyed a 
city, but in so doing snatched in an instant away the fruits 
of Napoleon's great campaign and inflicted on him the great- 
est defeat which he had ever sustained, which was the 
beginning of his downward plunge to Elba. There is noth- 
ing in the pages of history more wantonly brutal and bar- 
barous than the desperate attempt of Ewell to burn the City 
of Richmond over the heads of its defenceless and starving 
women and children, its sick and wounded, without warning 
them of the fate which was hanging over them. The Con- 
federacy, like a wounded wolf, died gnawing its own body in 
insensate passion and fury. 

The troops quickly marched to their assigned places, and 
I opened my headquarters in the City Hall, and posted a 
placard throughout the city commanding all good citizens to 
assist the military authorities in restoring order by retiring 
to their houses, keeping closely within doors, and threaten- 
ing with arrest any citizen who should be found on the 
streets after nightfall. I ordered the daily papers to be taken 
possession of, and directed the patrols to arrest the drunken 
mob of pillagers who were running riot, and to bring the pil- 
laged property to the City Hall, where it was taken by an 
officer, receipted for, and piled away in the various back 
rooms of the building, until an immense mass of property 
was accumulated. My office was at once besieged and taken 
possession of by crowds of terror-stricken ladies, whose minds, 
filled with the wicked and outrageous calumnies heaped upon 
the Northern troops by tne Richmond papers, expected that 
the rapine initiated by their own people was but the prelude 
to the reign of terror which the "Yankee monsters" would 
inaugurate when settled in possession of the city. Old ladies 
came and threw themselves on my neck in paroxysms of ter- 
ror, and implored me to save them ; others clung to my arms 
until I would promise them I woidd guarantee their safety. 
One lady, in great excitement, came up to me, and said : " I 

am the daughter of General , of 'Pennsylvania, and I 

appeal for protection as a Northern woman." I looked up 


at her and said quietly : "Ton are then tlie aunt of Harry 

, of ? " Her joy at findinpj that lier nepliew and I 

were old college friends "was inexpressible. 1 gave lier, at 
random, the first private soldier I could put my hands on, as 
a safeguard, and sent him home with iier, to be responsible 
for the safety of the block in which she lived. Another ladv, 
dressed in the deepest weeds, shivering like an aspen-leaf, 
her face concealed by a crape veil, came almost tottering- 
with terror to my side, and Avhispered in my ear: " 1 am the 
widow of General ," (a rebel general killed at Peters- 
burg but a few daj's before), "and I appeal to you, as 
a soldier's widow to a brother soldier, to protect me and my 
fatherless children." She then told me she had a large fam- 
ily of small children, and that they had had nothing but 
bran soup for several weeks, and that to cook it they had 
burned up their bannister rail and other portions of their 
house. I sent a safe-guard with her, and promised to send 
a staff officer to her at the first practicable moment to see 
what we could do to relieve her pressing wants, and found it 
was as she had represented it — a case of great destitution — 
but only one of many cases among the delicately-nurtured 
ladies of Richmond. I sent her a store of provisions from 
our brigade headquarters mess, and maintained her until she 
got help from friends in the North, to whom she finally went. 
I could enumerate such touching and pathetic episodes by 
the score, were it necessary to further illustrate the exciting 
and dramatic experiences of that memorable da}'. I issued 
to these crowds of ladies written safe-guards, the violation of 
which every soldier knew was death, and organized a system 
for the domiciling of soldiers with the inhabitants, taking the 
guards almost indiscriminately from the various regimental 
rosters for duty. In every case the citizens were amazed at 
them; at their intelligence, their courteous manners, their 
high character as men, their rigid sense of discipline ; and 
could hardly be made to believe that they were samples of 
the private soldiers of the Army of the Union — the so-called 
"scum of the North." 

Officers were quickly sent to Libb}- prison to liberate 
the Union prisoners there, and the place was used to confine 
the Confederate stragglers, who were captured to the num- 
ber of over 7,000. It was so crowded that when on the next 
morning I first had time to ride by, on 'an inspection of the 
city, they had boiled up through the roof and were sitting 
crowded all over it. 

The various regiments at the places assigned to them 


worked with desperate courage and energy all day long at 
battling -with the flames, '^^"hen night-fall came, the tires 
were checked and held under control and the city was saved. 
The horrible roar of the flames still went on, with the crash- 
ing of falling walls and the detonations of the ordnance 
stores ; but the Are was stopped in its tracks and the troops 
rested. Plad it been for their own homes the exertions of 
the men of the First brigade could not have been more 
heroic than they were to save the captured capital of their 

It was after midnight when I got suflicient respite 
from the exertions of the day to get into my saddle and 
make an inspection of my command. Accompanied by my 
staft*, I rode through the sleeping city from one end to the 
other. Not a human being was encountered of all the de- 
stroying mob who had tilled it to overflowing in the morn- 
ing. On every alternate corner stood the motionless form 
of a sentry. Not a ray of light from a house gave hint of life 
within. The onlj' exception was at a corner grocery, where 
light was detected through a crack in the shutters. The 
sharp rap of an aid's sabre on the door brought out a panic- 
stricken German grocer, who had been too frightened to go 
to bed and who was sitting up with the few worldly goods 
he had left. For hours we passed up and down the streets 
which echoed to the clatter of our horses' hoofs and the 
jingle of our sabres, astonished at the discipline that had 
been established in so few hours. It was near morning 
when Ave gave ourselves up to rest, in the house we had 
selected for headquartei-s, and enjoyed the novel and de- 
licious intoxication of rest in beds with mattresses and fresh 
linen. So ended the first day of the occupation of the Con- 
federate capital. 

To this vivid narrative nothing need be added. By for- 
mal proclamation, issued next day. General Ripley was des- 
ignated to command the troops in the city, and so performed 
the duties of his responsible position as at once to maintain 
perfect order in the city and secure the respect of the citi- 

' Heax)quarter3 U. S. Forces, > 
Richmond, Va., April 5th, 1865. > 
By command of Major General Godfrey Weitzel, the following rules, 
regulations and orders are established for the government of the city of 
Richmond and the preservation of public peace and order : 

** ***** * * 

IV. Brevet Brigadier General Edward II. Ripley, U. S. Volunteers, is 
hereby placed in command of all the troops doing provost or guard duty 


The Nintli was temporarily quartered in Battery C, on 
the Mechanicsville turnpike, in the eastern limits of the city, 
where it remained till the 14th. While there a company 
was sent out to Fair Oaks to bring in a straggling party of 
Confederate soldiers. On the 14tli the troops were ordered 
into camps outside of the city and the Ninth moved across 
the river and went into camp at Manchester. Here it was 
occupied in guard duty on the Richmond and Danville rail- 
road. A detail of 100 men under Lieutenants Haskell, 
Brownell and Branch, was stationed at the Midlothian coal 
mines, thirteen miles distant, where a large amount of prop- 
erty was to be protected and the negro miners kept in order. 
The detachment remained there till the 5th of June. 

On the 13th of June the original members of the regi- 
ment and recruits whose term of service would expire pre- 
vious to October 1st, were mustered out of the service, to the 
number of 633, and all who were well enough to travel 
started next day for Vermont. 

The officers so mustered out were Colonel E. H. Eipley, 
Lieut. Colonel V. G. Barney, Major J. C. Brooks, Adjutant 
G. W. Gould, Quartermaster F. E. Rice, Surgeon W. S. 
Vincent, Assistant Surgeon E. P. Fairman, Chaplain L. C. 
Dickinson,* Captains L. E. Sherman, S. H. Kelley, A. Clark, 
E. L. Kelley, J. O. Livingston, J. T. Gorham, E. Viele, A. E. 
Leavenworth ; First Lieutenants E. F. Cleveland, C. W. Has- 
kell, W. C. Holman, George N. Carpenter and R. F. Par- 
ker; Second Lieutenants J. S. Halbert, L. Smith, J. W. 
Roberts, J. W. Stebbins and S. C. Burlingame ; and Ser- 
geant Major S. J. Church. 

in the city of Richmond. All details of provost and other guards and 
orderlies will be made by him. 

District provost marshals hereinafter designated will report to him. 
VI. All officers of the fire department will report immediately to 
Brevet Brigadier General Ripley, who will give the necessary orders to 
perfect the organization, and render it efficient. 


Brigadier General U. S. Vols. 
Military Governor of Richmond. 
1 Chaplain Dickinson was the only chaplain of a three years Vermont 
regiment who remained with his regiment throughout its term of service. 


The regiment arrived at Burlington shortly after mid- 
night in the morning of the 19th of June. It was greeted 
with a national salute was welcomed home in fitting terms 
by Hon. L. B. Englesby, and an ample collation was served 
in the City Hall by the ladies of Burlington. After doing 
justice to this and acknowledging their reception in the cus- 
tomary way, the men marched to their quarters on the Hos- 
pital grounds. On the 20th the regiment, Major Brooks 
commanding in the absence of Lieut. Colonel Barney who 
was ill, was reviewed by Governor Smith, who was accom- 
panied b}^ Brevet Major General Stannard, who had a warm 
greeting from his old command, and by Major William 
Austine, U. S. A., Adjutant General Washburn, Q. M. Gen- 
eral Pitkin and Surgeon General Thayer. Next day the men 
were paid off and dispersed to their homes. 

The portions of companies remaining at Richmond were 
consolidated into a battalion of four companies, numbering 
408 officers and men, under command of Captain Seligson, 
who was soon promoted to be lieutenant colonel. The line 
officers were Captains P. Hobon, E. L. Brownell, C. F. 
Branch and B. Cowdr}^ the latter being commissioned as 
captain several weeks later, and Lieutenants E. W. Bird, 
John Gray, J. W. Thomas, J. E. McGinnis, E. B. Palmer, G. 
N. Briggs, H. K. Bacon and G. C. Chamberlin. 

The battalion was engaged in provost duty at General 
Gibbons's headquarters in Richmond, until August 4th, 
when it was sent to Norfolk to guard government stores. 
Thence it was taken by steamer up Chesapeake bay to a 
point on its eastern shore, in Accomac county, where it 
hiuded and marched nine miles to Drummondtown. Here it 
occupied some barracks erected for Confederate troops in 
1862, and had little to do except to guard a jail and tele- 
graph office. During their stay here Captains Hobon and 
Branch arrested, in that vicinity, Robert Winder, who had 
been quartermaster under Wirz, the infamous commander 



of Andersonville prison, whose trial was then in progress, 
and sent him to Fortress Monroe. In the last week in 
August the battalion was stationed at Portsmouth, Va., in a 
confiscated hotel. Lieut. Colonel Seligson at this time was 
on detached service, Captain Hobon had charge of the mil- 
itary prison in Norfolk, Captain Brownell was provost 
marshal at Suftblk, and Captain Branch had command of the 
battalion. The duty was light and the quarters comfortable, 
and the summer and autumn passed pleasantly. On the 
lOtli of November Lieutenant J. E. McGinnis of company 
C, died of disease. November 25th brought an order from 
General Terry, commanding the district, for the final muster 
out. This took place at Portsmouth, on the 1st of December. 
Next day the battalion, comprising 265 officers and men, em- 
barked for Baltimore, and proceeding thence arrived at 
Burlington at noon of December 6th. It was the last body 
of veterans to return to Vermont, with the exception of the 
Seventh regiment, w^iich was still on duty in Texas. The 
officers so returning were Captains Hobon, Branch, Brown- 
ell and Cowdry ; First Lieutenants Chamberlain, Thomas, 
Bird and Bacon, and Second Lieutenants Palmer, Briggs, J. 
H. Yancor and O. W. Newell. The battalion w^as met and 
escorted to the City Hall by a committee of citizens, was 
received by Mayor Catlin, and welcomed in an address by 
G. G. Benedict, Esq. As usual a bountiful collation had 
been provided, and was served, by the ladies of Burlington. 
The men were paid off the same day by Paymaster Halsey, 
and dispersed to their homes. 


Harper's Ferry, .----.- Sept. 13 and 15, 1862. 
Newport Barracks, ----.--. Feb. 2, 1864. 

Chapin's Farm, ..-----.. Sept. 29, 1864. 
Fair Oaks, -.----..- Oct. 37, 1864. 

Fall of Richmond, - - .-.--. April 3, 1865. 


The final statement of the regiment is as follows : 


Original members — com. officers, 34; enlisted men, 8S1 ; total t)15 

G A.IN£. 

Recruits, 950; transfers from other regiments, G ; total 956 

Aggregate 1871 


Killed in action — enlisted men 12 

Died of wounds — com. officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 10; total 12 

Died of disease — com. officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 229; total 232 

Died (un wounded) in Confederate prisons, 36; from accident, 8 ; total 44 

Total of deaths 300 

Honorably discharged — com. officers, resigned, 32 ; for wounds and 
disability, 3 ; —enlisted men, for wounds, 11 ; for disability, 221 

total 266 

Dishonorably discharged — com. officers, 1 ; enlisted men, 10 total.... 11 

Total discharged 277 

Promoted to U. S. A. and other regiments — officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 

8; total 11 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, signal service, regular army, 

etc 178 

Deserted, 126; unaccounted for, 1 ; total 127 

Mustered out — com. officers, 43 ; enlisted men, 935 ; total 978 

Aggregate 1871 

Total wounded 60 



Organization— Departure for tlie Field — la tlie Defences of Washington — 
Join tlie Third Corps — Campaign of 1863 — Mine River Campaign and 
Battle of Orange Grove — Winter Quarters at Brandy Station — Joins 
Sixth Corps— Overland Campaign of 1864 — Wilderness, Spottsylvania, 
and Cold Harbor— Petersburg— Weldon Railroad — Early's Raid and 
Battle of the Monocacy — In the Shenandoah Valley— Battles of Ope- 
qunn, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek — Petersburg, March 25, 1865 — 
Fall of Petersburg— Pursuit of Lee — Sailor's Creek— March to Dan- 
ville, Va. — Back to Washington— Return Home— MusterOutandFinal 

Calls for more troops were urgent from Washington in 
Jnne, 1862. Governor Holbrook notified the Secretary of 
War that the Ninth Vermont regiment was almost ready to 
march ; and that he could probably send on another in fifty 
days if imperatively needed, though it would be " consider- 
ably above Vermont's quota of any call yet made." Secre- 
tary Stanton replied : ' Organize your Tenth regiment. It 
is needed by the Government." Before the work of recruit- 
ing it had begun, President Lincoln's call of July 1st, 1862, 
for 300,000 more volunteers, had been issued. The resources 
of the State had already been severely taxed ; but the emer- 
gency caused by the seven days' retreat from Eichmond 
appealed strongly to the patriotism of a people who rallied 
more resolutely in the dark days of the great contest than in 
the bright ones. Governor Holbrook issued a stirring procla- 
mation. *' Let no young man capable of bearing arms in de- 
fence of his country," he said, " linger at this important 
period. Let the President feel the strengthening influence 
of our prompt and hearty response to his call. Let Vermont 
Toe one of the first States to respond with her quota." 


liecruitiug began at once and in earnest for both the 
Tenth and Eleventh regiments, which were raised simultane- 
ously. War meetings were held all over the State ; personal 
influence was brought to bear ; large bounties were offered by 
individuals ;' and the recruiting officers were stimulated by a 
special premium of two dollars, paid by the Government to 
the recruiting officer, for every accepted recruit. 

Recruiting officers for the Tenth regiment were appointed 
as follows : George P. Baldwin, Bradford ; Reed Bascom, 
Burlington ; Edwin Dillingham, "Waterbury ; John A. Sheldon, 
Rutland ; Hiram Piatt, Swanton ; Charles G. Chandler, St. 
Albans • Hiram R. Steele, Derby Line ; Gardner I. Howe, 
Ludlow. Recruiting progressed with unexampled rapidity ; 
on the 15th of August the Tenth regiment was in camp at 
Brattleboro, and on the 1st of September it was mustered 
into the service of the United States, with 1,016 officers and 

The following companies composed the regiment : Com- 
pany A, St. Johnsbury, Captain Edwin B. Frost, organized 
July 11th ; company B, Waterbury, Captain Edwin Dilling- 
ham, organized August 4th ; company C, Rutland, Captain 
John A. Sheldon, organized August 5th ; company D, Bur- 
lington, Captain Giles F. Appleton, organized August 5tli ; 
company E, Bennington, Captain Madison E. Winslow, or- 
ganized August 7th ; company F, Swanton, Captain Hiram 
Piatt, organized August 6th ; company G, Bradford, Captain 
George B. Damon, organized August 12th ; company H, 
Ludlow, Captain Lucius T. Hunt, organized August 8th ; 
company I, St. Albans, Captain Charles G. Chandler, organ- 
ized August 11th ; company K, Derby Line, Captain Hiram 
R. Steele, organized August 12th. 

At a war meeting held in Monipelier, James R. Lanpdon, Esq., 
offered a bounty of ten dollars to each of twenty-five men ; and Hon. C. W. 
Willard, J. A. Page, R. Richardson, S. M. Walton and J. G. French 
offered to make up the bounty to fifty dollars for each recruit. Other sim- 
ilar offers were made in other towns. 


The field and staflf officers were selected in August, and 
were as follows : 

Colonel — A. B. Jewett, Swanton. 
Lieut. Colonel — John H. Edson, Montpelier. 
Major — William W. Henry, Waterbury. 
Adjutant — Wyllys Lyman, Jr., Burlington. 
Quartermaster — A. B. Valentine, Bennington. 
Surgeon— Willard A. Child, Pittsford. 

Assistant Surgeons— J. C. Rutherford, Derby Line ; Almon Clark, 

Chaplain— E. M. Haynes, Walliagford. 

The colonelcy of the regiment was offered to Lieut. 
Colonel W. Y. W. Eipley, of Rutland, late of the First regi- 
ment of Sharpshooters, but he was unable to accept it, in 
consequence of a severe wound received at Malvern Hill, and 
Lieutenant Colonel Jewett was appointed colonel. 

Almost all of the field and staff had seen service. Col- 
onel Alfred B. Jewett was a native of Swanton, of which 
town his ancestors were among the pioneers. When the 
war began he was a merchant, in a modest and prosperous 
business, in partnership with E. L. Barney, afterwards 
colonel of the Sixth Vermont. He dropped his business at 
the first call for volunteers, and went out as first lieutenant 
of company A of the First regiment ; and was a prompt, 
vigorous and capable line officer. He was the first selection 
for lieutenant colonel of the Tenth. His commission as 
colonel bore date of August 26th, 1862. He was in the 
prime of life, being 33 years old. IJe showed decided ex- 
ecutive ability, proved himself a good disciplinarian, soon 
had his regiment in soldierly shape was careful of his men 
and popular as a colonel. 

Lieut. Colonel Edson was appointed on the strength of 
his having been for a time a member of the U. S. military 
academy. He, however, was with the regiment only four or 
five weeks. 

Major W. W. Henry, soon to be lieutenant colonel, had 
had several months' service in the field, as lieutenant of com- 


pany D of the Second regiment, and since leaving that regi- 
ment on account of ill health, had been engaged in drilling 
recruits and assisting recruiting in the State. 

Adjutant Lyman was the only son of the late Wyllys 
Lyman, a prominent citizen of Burlington, and had military 
tastes and capacity which amply justified his appointment. 

Quartermaster A. B. Valentine was without previous ex- 
perience, but possessed genuine business capacity as well 
as high patriotism, and proved to be an energetic and capa- 
ble officer. 

Surgeon Child was the assistant surgeon of the First 
regiment during its term of service ; and then assistant sur- 
geon of the Fourth, which position he left to accept the sur- 
geoncy of the Tenth. He added to native capacity, high 
professional skill and experience. 

First Assistant Surgeon Kutherford was a man of 44 
years, a physician of established reputation and extensive 
practice in Newport. 

Second Assistant Surgeon Almon Clark was barely of 
age, and had just entered his profession, in which he showed 
skill, industry and fidelity. 

Chaplain Haynes was a young Baptist clergyman of 
earnest spirit and high Christian character, who after long 
and faithful service as chaplain rendered additional service 
to the Tenth as its regimental historian. The line contained 
many experienced soldiers, and in all respects the material 
of the regiment was of superior quality. 

The camp at Brattleboro, named " Camp Washburn" 
in honor of the adjutant general of the State, was upon the 
plateau, a mile and a half south of the village, on which, from 
first to last, so many Vermont regiments camped. The 
camp was provided with comfortable barracks. The food 
and cooking were good, the Eleventh regiment was in camp 
close by, and the three "weeks' sojourn there was on the 
whole a pleasant one. The men were at fiirst armed with 


old Belgian muskets which served well enough for the pur- 
poses of guard duty and drill. These were exchanged for 
better arms after the regiment arrived in the field. With 
the exception of the muskets, the outfit of the regiment was 
complete in all respects. 

On the 6th of September the regiment left Brattleboro 
for Washington, in a train of eighteen passenger cars ; and 
nearly as many freight cars were filled with the baggage, 
which included fifteen or twenty company and officers' 
chests, and a regimental library of 200 volumes presented by 
Captain Frost. At New Haven the regiment took steamer 
for New York, where the officers were taken to the Astor 
House and the men to the barracks at City Hall Park. The 
journey was continued the same forenoon, and as the men 
marched through the city, wearing the green sprig, the badge 
of their Green Mountain State, their fine appearance at- 
tracted much attention. The regiment went by boat to 
Perth Amboy, and there took train on the Camden and 
Amboy railroad for Philadelphia, where they had supper, 
served by the generous citizens, whose hospitality was un- 
stinted, though the Tenth Vermont was the twenty-eighth 
regiment which had enjoyed it within a week. At Balti- 
more the regiment was welcomed next morning by the Union 
citizens, and the evening of September 8th saw it in 

The next morning the regiment moved across Long 
Bridge, and had a hot and dusty march to Camp Chase, on 
Arlington Heights, where it remained for a week, in a widen- 
ing circle of camps of new regiments constantly arriving. 
It was an anxious and a stirring time. The Army of the 
Potomac was then on the march to resist Lee's first invasion 
of Maryland, and the boom of cannon came distinctly from 
Harper's Ferry, where the Ninth Vermont was besieged. 

The regiment broke camp on the evening of the 14th, 
and started it knew not whither. Marching was new busi- 


ness for the troops, and it was a foot-sore and weary column 
that halted on the third day at Seneca Lock, on the Chesa- 
peake and Ohio canal, where it was to guard the Maryland 
bank of the Potomac. The left wing remained there under 
Major Henry, while the right wing, under Lieut. Colonel 
Edson, established itself at Edwards Ferry. The line of 
pickets extended ten miles from Edwards Ferry to Muddy 
Branch. Regimental headquarters were established half 
way between the two wings, at Pleasant's Meadows, with 
company C as headquarters guard. On the 11th of October 
the regiment was concentrated at Seneca Creek, near the 
spot previously occupied by the left wing. Here it was 
brigaded with the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, Twenty-third 
Maine and Fourteenth New Hampshire regiments,* and 
Tenth Massachusetts battery, under command of Brigadier 
General Cuvier Grover. General Grover was soon assigned 
to more important duty elsewhere, and the command of the 
brigade devolved upon Colonel Davis of the Thirty-ninth 
Massachusetts. The regiments were placed at diflferent 
points along the river, with detachments thrown back into 
the country to guard the cross roads. The camp of the 
Tenth was near the river, on a strip of sloping ground bor- 
dered by a swamp. Owing to the uuliealthful location and 
the inevitable process of acclimation, the health of the regi- 
ment began at once to suffer. The first death in the regi- 
ment occurred here on the 26th of September," and the 
mortality soon became serious. Five men died in a single 
night. The surgeons were capable and attentive; but the 
hospital accommodations were insufficient and many sick 
men remained in quarters, for want of room in the regi- 
mental hospital. 

' To this brigade the New York cavalry regiment called " Scott'g Nine 
Hundred," was subsequently attached. 

Charles C. Dayton of company C, who died after an illness of five 


On the morning of the 5th of October, the regiment was 
roused by the long roll, which was sounded in consequence 
of a report that the enemy was crossing the river in force ; 
but it proved to be a false alarm. 

On the 13tli of November, Colonel Davis assembled the 
regiments of his brigade at Offut's Cross Roads, fifteen miles 
from "Washington, on the road between Great Falls and 
Eockville, Md. Here the Tenth camped on high ground in 
the open field. The weather was cold and wet ; snow fell on 
the 7th of November and again on the 15th ; and the sick- 
list continued large. Twenty-five men died of typhoid fever 
in five weeks, and nearly half of the ofiicers were sick. The 
men, having plenty of time to think of their trials, became 
despondent, and it was a gloomy time. Yet Thanksgiving Day 
was celebrated with good cheer and open-air games, and 
December brought a change for the better, and the health of 
the regiment steadily improved. 

Lieut. Colonel Edson resigned in October, and was suc- 
ceeded by Major Henry ; and Captain C. G. Chandler of 
company A was appointed major. 

On the 21st of December, the Tenth Vermont and 
Twenty-third Maine were moved to Poolesville. The Maine 
regiment was stationed below the town, and the Tenth Ver- 
mont was posted in three detachments along the river. Com- 
panies C, E, H and 1, with Colonel Jewett, were stationed at 
White's Ford ; companies A, F, and D, under Lieut. Colonel 
Henry, at the mouth of the Monocacy river, to guard the 
canal aqueduct ; and companies B, G, and K, under Major 
Chandler, at Conrad's Ferry. Here the regiment held during 
the winter the right of the outer line of the defences of Wash- 
ington, which swept around the Capital, the extreme left 
being held by the Thirteenth Vermont regiment at the 
mouth of the Occoquan river. The winter passed with little 
to vary the monotony of camp life. Guerrillas were prowling 
about, but made no attempt to cross the Potomac after the 


first night after tlie arrival of the regiment, when about fifty 
of them undertook to surprise some of the new-comers, but 
were discovered when half across the river, and driven back. 
A number of the officers and men went home on furlough. A 
regimental church was organized, with which nearly a hun- 
dred men united, and religious meetings were well attended. 

On the 6tli of January, 1863, Colonel Davis, having dis- 
covered that Colonel Jewett outranked him, relinquished the 
command of the brigade to Colonel Jewett, much to the sat- 
isfaction of the Vermonters and others,' and the command of 
the Tenth Vermont devolved on Lieut. Colonel Henry. 

Several changes of line officers took place in January. 
Captain Appleton of company D resigned and was succeeded 
by First Lieutenant Samuel Darrah ; Second Lieutenant 
George E. Davis was promoted to be first lieutenant, and 
Sergeant L. A. Abbott was appointed second lieutenant 5 
Lieutenant W. H. H. Sabin of company C resigned ; Second 
Lieutenant C. D. Bogue was promoted to his place, and 
Sergeant George W. Burnell was appointed second lieuten- 
ant; Second Lieutenant S. E. Perham was promoted first 
lieutenant of company H, vice Lieutenant J. C. Dow, re- 
signed, and Commissary Sergeant Daniel G. Hill was ap- 
pointed second lieutenant ; Sergeant Justin Carter was ap- 
pointed second lieutenant of company I, vice Lieutenant E. 
C. Colby resigned ; Second Lieutenant S. D. Soule of com- 
pany E resigned. 

Drills, details, parades and the incidents of camp life, 
filled up the time ; the rations were abundant, and fresh pro- 
visions easily obtained from the farmers ; and the health of 
the regiment gradually improved. 

On the 19th of April the brigade was again for the most 
part concentrated at Poolesville, two companies of the Tenth 
being still left at White's Ford, under Captain Sheldon; 

1 " Colonel Jewett was a genial, popular officer, and the change waa 
welcomed." — History of the Fourteenth New Hampshire. 


two at the mouth of the Monocacy, under Captain Piatt, 
and one at Conrad's Ferry, under Captain Salisbury. The 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire regiments were soon 
ordered elsewhere. The rest of the brigade remained for 
four months near Poolesville. The camp was a little out- 
side of the village and was named " Camp Heintzleman," in 
honor of the general commanding the Twenty-second Corps. 

In the night of the 11th of June the regiment turned 
out to meet a party of Stuart's cavalry which crossed the 
river and drove in a cavalry picket, but did not care to meet 
infantry. Stuart's presence was explained when a day or 
two later the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac made 
their appearance in force, on their way to Pennsylvania, 
bringing the exciting news that Lee was again north of the 

General Halleck was anxious for the safety of Harper's 
Ferryj and the Tenth was sent thither, with other troops, to 
reinforce the garrison. The regiment broke camp at Pooles- 
ville in the evening of June 24th and reached Harper's Ferry 
on the morning of the 26th. Here it camped for four days 
of continuous rain, on Maryland Heights, where the ground 
was so steep that the men had to cling to the bushes to keep 
from rolling down the mountain. 

Had General Hooker's request for the 10,000 men at Har- 
per's Ferry been granted, the Tenth would have now joined 
the Army of the Potomac, and Hooker, instead of Meade, 
would have fought the battle of Gettysburg. But that Avas 
not to be. General Meade, on assuming command, took the 
permission to withdraw the garrison of Harper's Ferry which 
had been denied to Hooker, and on the 30th of June Har- 
per's Ferry was evacuated, and the Tenth was ordered, with 
6,000 or 7,000 other troops, under General French, to Fred- 
erick, Md. As the regiment stood waiting for the order to 
march, the magazine of one of the forts on Maryland Heights, 
which was being dismantled, exploded, showering pieces of 


timber, stone and iron in the ranks, and enveloping the regi- 
ment in a cloud of smoke and cinders. No man of the Tenth, 
however, was seriously injured, though a score of men of a 
INIiiryland regiment, not far away, were hurled from the cliffs 
ami a number fatally injured. 

At Frederick the regiment was brigaded with the Sixth 
New York Heavy Artillery, One Hundred and Fifty-fir'st 
New York, and Fourteenth New Jersey, under command of 
Brigadier General William H. Morris. On the 2d of July, it 
was temporarily detached, and with the Tenth Massachusetts 
Battery and a battalion of the Fourteenth Massachusetts 
Infantry, all under command of Colonel Jewett, went to Mon- 
ocacy Junction to guard the railroad bridge. The remainder 
of the brigade went to Boonesboro Gap, and was joined by 
the regiment at Crampton's Gap on the 4th, the day after the 
battle of Gettysburg. Here four companies of the regiment 
■were detailed to guard Confederate prisoners on their way to 

On the 8th of July, Morris's brigade was assigned to the 
Third division (General Elliott's) of the Third Army Corps, 
under Major General French, who succeeded General Sickles 
in command of the corps. On the 9tli, the regiment marched 
with the brigade to join the Army of the Potomac, which was 
now moving to cut off Lee's retreat. Marching from Turner's 
Gap on the 10th, it joined the Third Corps at Antietam 
Creek, near Jones's Cross Roads, where half of Meade's 
army lay within striking distance of Lee's right wing, now 
preparing to re cross the Potomac. On the 12th the Third 
and other corps w^ere pressed close upon the enemy, and 
the Tenth Vermont stood 'in line for hours, expecting mo- 
mentarily orders to advance and attack the enemy, but Lee's 
position presented no vulnerable points, and Meade did not 
attack that day or the next. On the night of the 13th, 
Lee crossed into Virginia, and next day the Third Corps ad- 
vanced to within four miles of Williamsport. Oh the 15th it 


marched thence to Sharpsburg. The division marched 
fifteen miles in four hours. The heat was terrible. Many 
men were sun-struck and stragglers were numerous. At two 
o'clock the brigade came to a halt beyond Sharpsburg with 
but a battalion accompanying the headquarters' colors. The 
Tenth crossed the Potomac and the Shenandoah, with the 
army, in the night of the 17th ; passed into the Loudon Tail ey, 
and marched by way of Snickersville, Lovettsville, Upperville 
and Salem to the beautiful old town of Warrenton. At Pied- 
mont Station the regiment was detailed to guard an ammu- 
nition train, on the 23d, and had a plain view of the fight be- 
tween Spinola's brigade, leading the advance of the Third 
Cor]3S, and the head of Ewell's division, which met in Chester 
Gap. During a portion of this march the rations were short, 
and the men sufiered from hunger. Marching through AVar- 
renton on the 26th, with the bands playing the " Star- 
Spangled Banner," the brigade halted two miles beyond the 
town and pitched camp in a pine wood. The army here 
rested around Warrenton, and the hard-marched and foot- 
sore troops enjoyed the rest, after nearly a month of contin- 
ual marching. 

Here the Gettysburg campaign ended. When, on the 
1st of August, the army moved to the Rappahannock, the 
Tenth was stationed at Rout's Hill, two miles from Sulphur 
Springs, and about the same distance from Bealton Station 
on the Orange and Alexandria railroad. Here it remained 
for five weeks, while the army was preparing for the fall cam- 
paign. Convalescents, crowded out from the hospitals in 
Washington by the wounded from Gettysburg, took thei 
places in the ranks in large numbers. Recruiting was now 
active throughout the North, and Colonel Jewett, Captains 
Hunt and Sheldon, Adjutant Lyman, and a number of en- 
listed men left the regiment the last of July, and spent 
two months gathering recruits in Yermont, and forwarding 
them to the field. Many ofl&cers of other regiments were 


also absent during this time, and for some days the brigade 
was under command of Lieut. Colonel Henry. The regi- 
ment was paid off here, and the men drew a new supply of 
clothing and blankets. 

On the 6th of August the troops observed as best they 
could the special day of Thanksgiving ordered by President 
Lincoln for the victories of Gettysburg, Vicksburg and Port 
Hudson. On the 14th Sergeant Martin of company G, while 
on picket, shot a guerrilla who was aiming his gun at one of 
the Union pickets. This was the first shot fired at the ene- 
my by a member of the regiment, but not the last. On the 
7th of September the regiment participated in the review of 
the Third Corps by General Meade. In this the full ranks 
and new uniforms of the regiments of Elliott's division at- 
tracted much notice and the older troops of the corps gave 
the division the nick-name of "French's Pets." 

Lee having withdraw^n across the Rapidan, on the 15th 
of September Meade moved across the Eappahannock. 
Morris's brigade, after losing direction and wandering about 
for several hours that night, crossed the river at Freeman's 
Ford, and the next day advanced to within two miles of 
Culpeper, on the Springville and Culpeper turnpike. Here 
it remained, with the army, for twenty-three days ; and the 
men built shanties of boards, with fire-places of stone and 
sod, thinking they might remain here for the winter. 

But on the 8th of October General Lee assumed the of- 
fensive, and on the 11th the race for the possession of Cen- 
treville Heights began. The Third Corps formed the rear 
guard of the infantry, and Elliott's division brought up the 
rear of the corps and had several skirmishes with the enemy. 
Once the whole corps was formed in line of battle, while 
Pleasanton's cavalry was engaging Stuart's in fi'ont. March- 
ing with the brigade and division, the regiment marched 
near Warrenton, through Greenwich, past Bristoe Station 
and so on across the plains of Manassas to Centreville, 


making one day a forced march of thirty miles between 4 
o'clock in the morning and midnight. Near Warrenton a 
troop of Confederate cavalry da&hed up close to where Gen- 
eral French, with his staff, was riding at the head of the 
column, and fired upon them, killing some of the orderlies. 
The Tenth Vermont, with some other troops, was ordered 
up at once, bnt were not needed, as a few rounds from 
Sleeper's battery soon dispersed the Confederate troopers. 
On the 14th, after marching from Greenwich to beyond 
Broad Run, which the men forded waist-deep, the regiment 
was going into camp for the night, when the heavy firing be- 
tween the Second Corps and that of A. P. Hill, which came 
in contact at Bristoe Station, called the Third Corps back. 
Morris's brigade faced about and moved at double-quick 
toward the scene of action ; but before it reached the 
ground, Warren had repulsed Hill's greatly superior force 
and taken 450 prisoners. Next day a brigade of Stuart's 
cavalry appeared in front of Morris's brigade near Union 
Mills, and a battery burst a few shells over Morris's lines. 
This was the last seen of the enemy at this time. As he re- 
tired Lee destroyed the Orange and Alexandria railroad 
from Bristoe to the Eappahannock, and the Tenth had to 
furnish heavy details for fatigue duty in reconstructing it. 
The weather was cold ; the army moved frequentl}-, and no 
quarters could be made comfortable before orders came to 
leave them. In nineteen days thirty miles of railroad had 
been rebuilt, and on the 7tli of November Meade was ready 
to cross the Rappahannock. 

During the battle of Rappahannock Station, on that date, 
the Tenth was part of the column under General French 
which crossed at Kelly's Ford, Colonel Homer R, Stough- 
ton's sharpshooters leading the way. The brigade supported 
the Union batteries on the left bank, the regiment lying be- 
hind the Second Connecticut battery, which shelled the 
enemy on the opposite bank, over the head of the advancing 


column. After dark it crossed the river on the ponton bridge 
with the Third Corps, and bivouacked on the south side, the 
men stumbhng over the bodies of the Confederate dead, as 
they souglit places to rest. Next day it moved up to E-appa- 
hannock Station, where the Sixth Corps had taken 1,400 
prisoners the evening before, and joined the army in the pur- 
suit of Lee to the Kapidan. 

Morris's brigade camped on John Minor Botts's farm, 
near Brandy Station, till the 14th, when it was sent out four 
miles toward Culpeper. The regiment started on a dark 
and rainy night, marched twelve miles to advance four, and 
after stumbling over half-corduroyed roads and through 
deep mud for four hours, the men dropped to rest on the wet 
leaves, supperless and drenched to the skin. The regiment 
remained a week in that vicinity without discovering any 
reason for the movement, changing its camp three times 
meantime, and then returned to Brandy Station. 


On Thanksgiving Day, the 26th of November, the whole 
army advanced once more, on the Mine Kun campaign. The 
Tenth Vermont started with Morris's brigade at seven o'clock 
A. M., crossed the Eapidan at sun-down, near Jacob's Ford, 
and bivouacked on the bank of the river. In the fighting of 
Carr's division, the next afternoon, with Johnson's division of 
Ewell's Corps, near the Widow Morris's, at Orange Grove, the 
Tenth made its first charge in battle. General French, after 
allowing his corps to be held back by a third of its number for 
five hours, had at last undertaken to force his way through to 
Robertson's Tavern, where Warren had been expecting and 
needing him all day. Carr's division took the brunt of this 
fight. The division was formed with Morris's brigade on the 
right, Keifer's next, and Smith's on the left. Morris formed 
his brigade in the woods at the foot of a hiU, with the One 



Hundred and Fifty-first New York on the right, the Tenth 
Vermont, Colonel Jewett, in the centre, and the Fourteenth 
New Jersey on the left. Colonel Jewett threw company D, 
Captain Darrah, forward as skirmishers. These were sharply 
pressed by the enemy's skirmishers for an houi", but held 
their ground. At three o'clock in the afternoon Morris 
was ordered to charge the enemy, strongly posted in his 
front behind some fences at the crest of the hill. In this 
charge, the Tenth pushed rapidly up the hill ; received a 
heavy volley from the enemy's line, and dashing squarely at 
them, drove them from behind the fence and advanced some 
distance beyond ; when, finding that it was alone, the other 
two regiments having halted at the fence, it fell back through 
a cross-fire, by which it suffered a large part of its loss in 
this engagement. It was under fire from the enemy's artil- 
lery and infantry, posted behind breastworks, till after sun- 
down, when Carr's division, having almost exhausted its 
ammunition, was relieved by Birney's division. The Third 
Corps lost nearly a thousand men in this affair, and the enemy 
about half the number. General French's irresolution and 
delay cost the success of the Mine Run campaign ; but his 
troops did their duty, and the Tenth Vermont was especially 
complimented. In his report of the action, its brigade com- 
mander. General Morris, said : 

The enemy was holding a fence on the crest of the hill 
in our front, and I ordered the Tenth Vermont to charge and 
take it. While making preparations to execute this daring 
duty, I received the same orders from General Carr. The 
regiment advanced in gallant style and took the crest. The 
left wing in its enthusiasm having advanced too far beyond 
the fence, it was necessary to recall it. The colonel's order 
not being distinctly understood on account of the noise, the 
regiment fell back to its first position. It formed rapidly 
and again advanced to the fence, which it held until the 
Third was relieved by the First division about sundown. I 
cannot speak of the conduct of the officers and men with too 
much praise. It was necessary to form the line of battle in 
a thick wood at the base of a hill, whose summit the enemy 


held, protected by a breastwork. Though the regiment had 
never before been under sharp fire, they behaved with the 
determined bravery and steadiness of veterans. 

General Morris commends for courage and efficiency 
Colonel Jewett, Major Chandler, Captain Darrah, and Lieu- 
tenants Gale, Hicks, and Hill, of his staff, who having been 
detailed as aids by Colonel Jewett when he commanded the 
brigade, had been retained by General Morris. 

The Tenth took about 600 bayonets into this action, and 
lost 12 killed, 58 wounded (five of whom died of their 
wounds), and one missing — a total of 71.' Captain Dilling- 
ham, acting on General Morris's staff, while carrying an 
order, ran upon a line of the enemy, had his horse shot under 
him, was captured, and spent four months in Libby Prison. 
Lieutenant Henry W. Kingsley was severely wounded in 
the thigh ; and as the stretcher-bearers were removing him 
from the field one of them was wounded by a shell. 

After nightfall Lee withdrew to the west side of Mine 
Run, and at two o'clock next morning the Tenth started with 

' The killed were as follows : Company A, George Batten ; com- 
pany B, Gilman D. Storrs; company C, Marcus Atwood and John S. Ford ; 
company F, S. J. Peacock ; company G, Corp. LeviN. Fullam and Charles V. 
Haynes; company H, R. E. Whitney; company I, Gardner Fay, Romeo 
Smith and Freeman E. Norris ; company K, David F. Marston. 

The wounded were : Company A, G. M. D. Douse and A. T. Martm ; 
company B, Sergeant H. M. Pierce, Corporal Q. A. Greene, John Blanch- 
ard, Peter Bovar, E. W. Conant, H. W. Crossett, J. M. Mather, W. H. 
Nelson, L. G. Ripley and W. M. Thayer; company C, A. Falk, J. L. Shan- 
non, George R. Streeter, I. E. Sawyer and Edward Yarton ; company D, 
Sergeant M. Kehoe, George Burnett and W. Z. Burdick ; company E, Ser- 
geant Thomas Reed, S. H. Coburn. Alfred Sears, A. V. Turner, H. C. 
Youngs and J. L. Waters ; company F, M. B. Aseltyne, A. M. Aseltyne, 
M. Greene, A. R. Doyon and F. W. Howard ; company G, J. A. Bullard, 
J. Densmore, Julius Freeman, D. B. Freeman, J. A. Griswold, J. N. Hos- 
ford, L. G. Kidder, J. J. Phelps, A. H. Porter and Corporal S. A. Paige; 
company H, O. Gassett and W. N. Cobb; company I, Wm. Bates, John 
Cross, A. Davis, E. B. Larabee, Sergeant Thomas Hogle and Corporal A. 
Wheelock ; company K, A. O. Dane, C. Drown, M. Foss, I. S. Goodwin, 
J. B. Hart, J. B. McCoy and George H. Lawrence. 

Henry W. Crossett, Sergeant Michael Kehoe, Isaac E. Sawyer, Mer- 
ritt B. Aseltyne and George H. Lawrence died of their wounds. 


the Tliiicl Corps and moved with it to the southwest to Ver- 
diersville, where the corps was to support an attack on Lee's 
centre. It remained here on the 29th, during which day the 
regiment supported the Fourth Maine battery ; but the as- 
sault was delayed till the enemy had made his works in front 
too strong to be assaulted with success and was then aban- 
doned. At two o'clock in the bitterly cold morning of the 
30th the regiment moved to the left with Carr's division, 
which was to support General Warren's corps in the general 
assault which Meade had ordered for eight o'clock that 
morning. It was well for the Tenth and for Morris's brigade 
that this did not come off; for the brigade was the front 
line and would have had to move up a hill-side obstructed 
wdth felled timber, and bristling at the summit with hostile 
artillery. At noon the division was brought back to its 
former position, to attack works which were every hour grow- 
ing stronger. But this assault, like the others, was in- 
definitely postponed. Next day, December 1st, the Tenth 
Vermont picketed the division front, near Verdiersville, 
within musket shot of the enemy's breastworks, and almost 
in contact with his pickets. Lee had now clecided to assume 
the offensive, and attack Meade next morning ; but when 
morning came Meade was not there. At nightfall he began 
to withdraw his troops. The orders to the pickets were to 
hold their line till three o'clock in the morning and then to 
fall back noiselessly. At the hour Jewett called in his 
pickets, and the regiment noiselessly crept away. Orders 
were whispered or given in pantomime ; the very horses trod 
softly along the wooded roads. The spot where two days 
before the regiment had supported the Maine battery, now 
replaced by some quaker guns,, was quietly passed, and the 
regiment moved on in the morning twilight to Germanna 
Ford, being the last detachment of the army to cross the 
river. Following the retiring column of the army it reached 
Brandy Station at three o'clock p. m., after a march of 


twenty-three miles, with but one man missing, save those 
who were left sleeping their long sleep in shallow graves at 
Orange Grove. 

At Brandy Station the army went int6 winter quarters, 
the Tenth occupying a camp near the house of John Minor 
Botts, where the rebels had constructed winter quarters for 
themselves a few weeks before, on a smooth stretch of ground 
sloping southward, sheltered on the north by a fine grove 
of oaks, which was left undisturbed, in part for protection and 
in part from regard for its loyal owner, Mr. Botts. A brook 
near the camp supplied an abundance of not over sweet or 
very clear water. The sick list was large, at times, numbering 
153 on the 15th of January. The quarters of the men were 
comfortable ; many articles of food and clothing not furnished 
by the Government were easily obtainable ; the camp was 
graced by the presence of a number of ladies, wives and 
friends of the officers ; Christmas and New Years were cele- 
brated with games and festivities, and on the 25th of January 
many of the officers and ladies in camp attended a grand ball 
given by the officers of the Third Corps at General Carr's 
headquarters. A log chapel, with canvas roof, was built, and 
consecrated in February with appropriate exercises, and was 
not only used for Sunday services, but for numerous evening 
meetings for singing classes, debating clubs and literary en- 
tertainments, sustained by the clergymen, lawyers, doctors 
and others, who carried muskets in the ranks. 

On the 6tli of February, the regiment took part in a 
demonstration which was to occupy the attention of Lee's 
army, while an expedition organized by General Butler should 
push into Richmond from the Peninsula. For the purposes 
of this demonstration the First and Second Corps marched 
to Raccoon and Morton's Fords on the Rapidan. Morris's 
brigade was to support the First Corps, and followed it nearly 
to Raccoon Ford. In this movement, the Tenth, which had 
just returned to camp after three days on picket, did not start 


till four r. m., when it marched seven miles to the south in a 
drizzling rain, and at ten o'clock bivouacked in a piece of 
woods. Next morning it moved to within two or three miles 
of the Ford, where the First Corps did some skirmishing with 
the Confederate outposts. The regiment stood almost all of 
the day in line of battle. At night, the demonstration having 
ended, the brigade was ordered to return, and the regiments 
pushed back to camp. In the rivalry to see which should 
get back first, the Tenth marched twelve miles in the deep 
mud and darkness without stopping, passed the One Hun- 
dred and Fifty-first New York, which was in advance, before 
it got to Culpeper ; and about half the regiment led the 
brigade into camp that night, the rest coming in in the morn- 

On the 27th of February, the regiment received a visit 
from Governor John Gregory Smith, who was looking after 
the Vermont troops and spent a day in camp. 

In March, 1864, the preparations for General Grant's 
great campaign began. In the reorganization of the army, 
the Third Corps was broken up, and Morris's brigade, en- 
larged by the addition of the One Hundred and Sixth New 
York and Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania, became the First 
brigade of the Third division of the Sixth Corps, commanded 
by General James B. Ricketts. While there were some 
heart-burnings at the breaking up of the Third Corps, the 
Tenth was glad to join the Sixth Corps, and it never had 
occasion to be ashamed of its membership of Ricketts's 
fighting division. The division at this time exchanged camps 
with Bimey's division, which had been farther to the left. 
The men did not relish the exchange of their comfortable 
camp for the dirty cabins into which they moved ; but they 
only occupied them till they could lay out a better camp 300 
yards away. This they occupied for only a month, before 
the army moved into the Wilderness. 

A change took place in the command of the regiment 


about this time. Colonel Jewett's health had become im- 
paired, and he resigned on the 25th of April, and was suc- 
ceeded as colonel by Lieut. Colonel Henry.' Major Charles 
G. Chandler was promoted to be lieutenant colonel, and 
Captain Edwin Dillingham of company B, on his return to 
the regiment after his release from Libby Prison, was ap- 
pointed major. 


On the night of May 3d the sick men, visitors and sur- 
plus baggage having been previously sent to the rear, the 
regiment hroke camp and started next morning, with the 
brigade and division, which were the rear guard of the long 
column of the Fifth and Sixth Corps ; marched fifteen miles 
to the Rapidan at Germanna Ford, crossed the river, and 
camped near it, to hold the crossing till the Ninth Corps 
should arrive. "When the head of the column of that corps 
appeared on the other side of the river, in the morning of 
the 5th, Ricketts's division moved off by the Plank road 
toward the Old Wilderness tavern. Just before reaching 
Wilderness Run, it filed off to the right and took position 
north of the Orange turnpike. In the afternoon Morris's 
brigade was moved to the south of the pike, where it could 
support either the left of Sedgwick's line, or the right of the 
Fifth Corps. As it crossed the pike it came under sharp 
artillery fire, by which some twenty men fell ; but the brig- 
ade was not called into action. The men stood in line dur- 
ing the afternoon and evening, while the sounds of the tre- 

Colonel Henry was the oldest son of the late James Henry of Water- 
bnry. He had seen over two years of active service ; was 33 years old, of 
tall and commanding figure and genial spirit ; and was a popular and cap- 
able commander. He was subsequently brevetted as brigadier general for 
gallant and meritorious service, and after the close of the war became 
prominent in civil life, representing in turn the counties of Washington and 
Chittenden in the State iSenate, and holding for six years the office of 
United States Marshal of Vermont. 


menclous fighting of Getty's division, in wliicli the First Ver- 
mont brigade had such a bloody share, and of the fight of 
Seymour's brigade on the right, in which Colonel Keifer w^as 
severely wounded, at times came to their ears through the 
thickets of the Wilderness ; but they could see little of the 
enemy or of the progress of the battle. They lay on their 
arms that night. In the morning the brigade was moved 
back to the north of the pike, and was held in reserve dur- 
ing most of the day. The shells from the enemy's artillery, 
during the fighting in front, whistled over their heads and 
sometimes burst around them. The tide of battl>e once 
swept so near to them that several men of the brigade were 
killed, and twenty-one, including Captain Judson of the One 
Hundred and Sixth New York, acting on General Morris's 
stafi", were captured ; but the Tentji Vermont and the rest 
of the brigade had nothing to do but to stand still and await 
events — often as severe a test of courage as fighting. Just 
before sunset the assault of Early's division on Shaler's and 
Seymour's brigades, the rout of Shaler and the capture of 
Seymour, took place. The brigade of the latter was flanked 
and fell back in disorder; and the enemy was pushing 
through the gap to the rear of the line of the Sixth Corps, 
when Morris's brigade was ordered forward. Only two of 
Morris's regiments, the Tenth Vermont and One Hundred 
and Sixth New York, got the order. These, moving by the 
flank on the double-quick, across the ground over which 
Seymour's brigade had retreated, halted and formed line of 
battle between the latter and Gordon's Georgia brigade. As 
his regiment faced to the front. Colonel Henry ordered 
the men to cheer. Gordon's men halted beyond a ravine 
in front, and Seymour's brigade rallied in the rear. Gene- 
ral Wright was thus enabled to restore the line of his 
division, and the fighting ceased in that quarter. During 
the night the corps took up and intrenched a new line, facing 
northwardly ; but Lee had withdrawn behind his entrench- 


ments, and the grapple of the armies in the Wilderness was 
not renewed. The loss of the Tenth in this battle was sur- 
prisingly small considering how much it was under fire. It 
had two men killed and nine wounded, one of whom died of 
his wounds.' 

Starting about midnight of the 7th the regiment moved 
with the Sixth Corps towards Spottsylvania. It crossed on 
its w^y the field of Chancellorsville, still covered by the 
debris of the battle of a year before, and the men kicked 
human skulls from their path, as they marched on to new 
scenes of carnage. 


At Aldrich's house, next day, the brigade left the Chan- 
cellorsville pike, and moving southwardly went into position 
a mile east of Alsop's farm, where Ricketts's division occupied 
the crest of a hill on the right of the Sixth Corps, its line 
extending into a valley. In front Hancock and Warren were 
meeting strong resistance. The latter was ordered to attack, 
supported by the Sixth Corps ; but the day was almost 
spent, the men were tired, and the assault was not pressed. 
That night Ricketts's division was drawn back to the left, 
and intrenched its line. The breastwork was strengthened 
next day under heavy artillery fire, by which many men were 
wounded. This day General Sedgwick was killed, and Gen- 
eral Morris wounded by a fragment of a shell. On the 11th 
the Tenth Vermont was on the skirmish line ; and next day 
it moved to the left with the corps, to support the famous 
assault upon the salient. Ricketts's division was held as a 
support to the others and was but slightly engaged, losing 
150 men killed and wounded. The Tenth Vermont suffered 
no loss 

' Killed— Jay Washburn of company D, and Thomas Alfred of com- 
pany K. Hiram W. Hicks died on the 7th of his wounds. 


On the 13th of May the division went back to the right 
and on the 14th moved with the corps six miles, around the 
Second, Fifth and Ninth Corps, to the extreme left of the 
arm}-. Ricketts's division, just at dusk, forded the Ny 
River, the water up to the men's arm-pits, and relieved 
Upton's brigade of the first division, which had been 
trying to gain a hill held by the enemy. The hill was car- 
ried, and the division threw up entrenchments in which it 
remained till the 21st, when the army moved to the North 
Anna. After moving out of its works about dusk that even- 
ing, the division was attacked in the rear by Wilcox's Con- 
federate brigade, which was beaten ofi", with the loss of a 
number of its men, taken prisoners. 

At eight o'clock a. m. on the 24th of May, the regiment, 
having marched from Mount Carmel Church the day before, 
crossed the North Anna at Jericho Mills, with the Sixth 
Corps, following in the path which the Fifth Corps had 
opened. It lay there all day till six o'clock p. m., when it 
started and marched in a terrific rain storm to Quarle's 
Mills, where the enemy's picket lines were struck and there 
was some skirmishing. Next morning the march was con- 
tinued to Nolan's Station, on the Yirginia Central railroad, 
which was burned and the track was destroyed for eight 
miles. That night the Tenth went on picket south of the 
station, in a place so wet that the men had to pile up fence 
rails in order to sleep above water. 

On the 26th, the Sixth Corps led another flank move- 
ment toward Richmond, re-crossing the river at Jericho Mills, 
and arriving at Chesterfield Station at midnight. The Tenth 
Vermont held the picket line till three next morning ; then 
followed and joined the division at seven a. m., and camped 
that evening in sight of the Pamunkey river. At noon the 
following day the river was crossed on pontons at Widow 
Nolan's, and the whole corps took a position on the farther 
bank, and threw up entrenchments to cover the crossing of 


the rest of the army. Morris's brigade occupied a position 
near Dr. Pollard's house, in an orchard and an adjoining 
field on his magnificent estate. By next morning the whole 
army was over the river. The brigade then followed the First 
division on a reconuoissance toward Hanover Court House. 
When approaching Atlee's Station, about midday on the 
30th. the brigade was ordered back to support the Second 
Corps, which was fighting near Tolopotomoy Creek, Hasten- 
ing back across fields and swamps and through a dense forest 
of oaks, the brigade arrived on the field about three o'clock 
in the afternoon, and went into line of battle on the left of 
Birney's division. No advance, however, was made that 
night, and at one o'clock in the morning the Sixth Corps was 
withdrawn and marched fifteen miles to Cold Harbor. A de- 
tail from the Tenth Vermont was left on picket till daybreak. 
They then drew out, in such a way as to lead the enemy to 
suppose that they were being relieved by another detail, 
and started after the division, overtaking it at Cold Harbor. 


Custer's brigade band was playing " Hail Columbia " 
out on the skirmish line in front of Cold Harbor when the 
column of Rickett's division came upon the ground, which 
Custer had been holding against Kershaw's infantry. The 
division marched in over fields on which there had been 
heavy skirmishing and on which lay blackened corpses, 
burned to a crisp by the fires which had run over them that 
hot afternoon, and took position in an open field behind a 
belt of woods, west of the old tavern at Cold Harbor. Here 
before sundown it assumed the offensive with heavy fighting. 

In this assault and that of the 3d of June, which was 
part of the prolonged battle of Cold Harbor, the Tenth lost 
more men killed and wounded than on any other field. The 
brigade, now commanded by Colonel Truex of the Fourteenth 


New Jerse}^, was the left of Kicketts's division, which was the 
right division of the Sixth Corps. Shortly before sundown 
the order to advance came and the corps started forward 
with the Eighteenth Corps on its right. The brigade ad- 
vanced with the division through a belt of woods, then across 
a ploughed field in which the enemy had piled some breast- 
works of rails ; then over a shallow ravine, and through a 
swamp to the woods in the edge of which were the main 
Confederate intrenchments, defended by Hoke's and Ker- 
shaw's divisions. The works here were carried and 500 pris- 
oners captured, a number of whom were taken by the Tenth 
Vermont. Private E. W. Skeels of company I, who was 
among the first to mount the works, saw a Confederate major 
and two lieutenants leaving an underground shelter, almost 
at his feet, as he sprang inside the breastworks, and ordered 
them to surrender. They gave him their arms, and were sent 
to the rear, while he remained and emptied the major's 
revolvers at the retreating enemy.' These, it is supposed, 
were officers of the Fifty-fourth North Carolina, whose com- 
mander delivered his sword to Captain Frost, acting major of 
the regiment. A considerable portion of this regiment was 
taken by the Tenth, which greeted the surrender with cheers. 
The prisoners were passed to the rear, and the credit of their 
capture was given to other troops. The enemy, who had 
fallen back to their second line, returned about an hour later, 
and made several earnest attempts to regain the lost works, 
each attack being repulsed with loss. The fighting lasted 
into t.he night. 

In this battle of June 1st Lieutenant Stetson of com- 
pany B was instantly killed by a minie ball which entered 
below his left eye. He was the first commissioned officer of 
the Tenth killed in action. A little later Lieutenant New- 
Statement of O. E. Wait of company I. 


ton of company G was killed by a ball in the throat. ' Colonel 
Henry was wounded, losing a finger of his right hand, and 
Captain P. D. Blodgett of company E, received a severe 
wound which occasioned his discharge four months later. 
The Tenth lost more heavily in ofiicers and men than any 
other regiment of the brigade, its flank being exposed by the 
failure of the troops on its left to keep up. 

The command of the Tenth, after Colonel Henry was 
wounded, devolved on Lieut. Colonel Chandler. There was 
heavy skirmishing and artillery fire next day. In the grand 
assault of the morning of the 3d, by the Second, Sixth and 
Eighteenth Corps, Ricketts's division was in the centre of the 
Sixth corps line, and was repulsed with heavy loss, though it 
gained and held positions within forty yards of the enemy's 
works. In the charge Captain Frost fell with two ghastly 
wounds, and died five hours later,^ and Captain Hunt was 

' Lieutenant Ezra Stetson was born in Boston, but removed to Troy, 
Yt., in childhood, with his parents. He had been a millwright in Bur- 
lington and a miner in California ; and was in mercantile business inMont- 
pelier when the war broke out. He assisted in recruiting Captain Dilling- 
ham's company, was elected its first lieutenant, and commanded it most 
of the time for two years in the absence of Captain Dillingham on staff 
duty. He was 39 years old and a brave and worthy oflficer. 

Lieutenant Newton was a native of Rochester, Vt., and was a student 
in Middlebury College, when, in July, '62, he enlisted. He assisted in re- 
cruiting company G, and was elected its second lieutenant. He was a 
worthy Christian gentleman, and a good soldier, often entrusted with 
duties of especial responsibility. He was buried on the field near where he 
fell, under a mulberry and sassafras tree which had grown together in a 
single trunk. His remains were subsequently disinterred and taken to 
Vermont for burial. 

^ Captain Edwin B. Frost, of Thetford, was one of the best officers in 
the line. He was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and when the war 
broke out was studying medicine in the office of his brother, Dr. C. P. 
Frost of St. Johnsbury. He enlisted a company for the Ninth regiment, 
but it was a little too late to be received for that regiment and became com- 
pany A of the Tenth. He was a brave and capable officer, and a man of 
high patriotism and principle. He met his death with fortitude and cheer- 
fulness, declaring with almost his last breath that he was "happy to die 
for his country and his God." 


wounded. Lieutenant J, S. Thompson of company I was 
taken prisoner and carried to Columbia, S. C, whence he 
escaped, four months after, by bribing the guard. 

During the twelve days of continuous contact "vvith the 
enemy at Cold Harbor, the regiment was almost constantly 
under fire. On the 6tli Captain Samuel Darrah of company 
D, as he was standing with his company in front of the regi- 
mental headquarters, was shot through the head by a Con- 
federate sharp-shooter, and fell dead on the spot.' 

On the 7th Lieut. Colonel Chandler, commanding, 
issued a complimentary order, in which he thanked the offi- 
cers and soldiers of the regiment for their brave and soldierly 
conduct in the bloody battles of the past six days, and added : 
" One hundred and eighty-six of our number have been made 
to fill an unmarked soldier's grave, or lie, wounded, upon the 
scanty cot of an army field hospital. Yet nobly have those 
died who have gone. Heroically do our wounded suffer who 
live. As a regiment, you have earned an honorable name, 
that will proudly live in the future history of our country." 

On the 11th, in the movements preparatory to the gen- 
eral movement of the army to the James, the division moved 
to the left, relieving troops of the Second Corps in the 
trenches, close up to the enemy's lines. About dark of the 
12th, the Tenth was withdrawn with the brigade. It helped 
to hold a second line, a short distance back, till the roads 
were clear, and then started, with the division, for the James 

' Captaia Darrah was a native of Poultney. He enlisted in July, 1862, 
at Burlington, was chosen first lieutenant of company D and promoted 
captain in January, 1863. He was a bright and efficient young officer, 
cool in battle, and competent in every position. His generous nature, 
genial spirit and his ready adaptation to the exigencies of military life, 
made him a general favorite, and many warm friends mourned his death. 
A letter written by him on the 20th of May, 1864, is full of loyalty and de. 
votion to the great cause for which he gave his life, and of pride in the 
heroism of his comrades. His remains were taken to Vermont for final in- 


The casualties of the regiment at Cold Harbor, most of 
them incurred on the 1st and 3d of June, were 30 killed, 147 
wounded, and four missing — total, 181. Of the wounded, 17 
died of their wounds. Of the missing, two were known to be 
captured and two were never heard of after. 

The regiment left Cold Harbor with 12 officers and 352 
effective men. It crossed the Chickahominy at Jones's 
Bridge on the 13th, and marched to Wilcox's Landing ; and 
there taking transports on the 16th, arrived at Bermuda Hun- 
dred at midnight, and moved with the brigade and division 
up behind General Butler's fortified line midway between the 
James and the Appomattox. The Tenth moved out with 
other troops, towards evening of the 17tli, to assault the 
enemy's line in front ; but the order for the attack was coun- 
termanded, and the troops returned to their positions, the 
Tenth having several men wounded by shells. On the 19th, 
the regiment started with the corps for the lines of Peters- 
burg, crossed the Appomattox on pontons at Point of Kocks, 
and moved to the left of the Union lines to the south of 

The Tenth participated in the movement against the 
Weldon railroad, which proved so disastrous to a portion of 

The rank and file killed at Cold Harbor were as follows : Company 
A, Edwin C. Clement, T. J. Drew, Daniel Morse and Oliver Morse ; com- 
pany B, Tuffleld Cayne, Alva Rowell and Abner Smith ; company C, Jos. 
Ayers and J. N. Buell ; company D, Jos. Joslin ; company E, Corporal 
MjTon Lillie, E. W. Niles, F. Reynolds and Thomas Rafter ; company F, 
F. W. Howard, Alanson Watson, Matthew Quinn and John Cosgrove; 
company G, A. H. Luce and J. F. Pearson ; company H, Nelson O. Cook, 
Corporal J. W. Fletcher and J. H. Webster; company I, Andrew Stevens, 
L. L. Fisher, Corporal P. C. O'Neal, Jos. Theburge and John Shaw ; 
company K. Corporal Lucian C. Piper and C. F. Martin. 

Those who died of wounds received at Cold Harbor were : Company 
A, Sergeant Jonathan Hoyt ; company B, Corporal Allen Greeley, Hamil- 
ton Glines and J. M. Mather ; company C, John Salger ; company E, L. 
D. Axtell; company F, George C. Himes ; company G, Corporal D. L. 
Hopkins, Leander Decamp, C. L. Reed and J. K. Williams; company I, 
Sergeant J. W. Carpenter and A. W. Hale ; company K, J. A. Braynard, 
P. A. Smith and Lewis Wood. 


the First Vermont brigade. Starting with, the rest of the 
division on the 22d, it moved to the west and halted in a 
field. There was firing on the picket line in front. The men 
piled rails and threw up earth with their tin cups, and soon 
made a protection from the bullets which were coming back 
■with unpleasant frequency. Toward night it advanced a 
short distance and bivouacked. Next day, the regiment lay 
to the right of the Second division, and heard plainly, at 
nightfall, the yell with which the enemy greeted the surren- 
der of the men of the Fourth and Eleventh Vermont. The 
Tenth was not engaged, though two regiments of the brig- 
ade, the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania and Fourteenth New 
Jersey, lost 123 men killed, wounded and captured on the 
skirmish line. 

The regiment went with the Sixth Corps on the 29th to 
Ream's Station. On this expedition Ricketts's division led 
the column, marching all night with a halt of only two 
hours. Next day it was posted across the raAlroad track at 
Ream's ; threw up rifle-pits on each side of the road, facing 
Petersbui'g, and took part in destroying the railroad track. 
Returning to its former position on the 2d of July, the div- 
ision remained on the left of Grant's line till the Oth, when 
under an order from Grant to Meade to send " one good 
division" to Maryland, it was detached from the army to 
oppose Early's raid against Washington. The men at this 
time were exhausted by incessant marching, intrenching and 
fighting. For sixty-two days and nights they had not been 
for an hour out of hearing of artillery or musketry and 
scarcely ever out of range of hostile shot ; and they welcomed 
any change. 

Starting at dawn on the 6th of July, the regiment 
marched with the brigade to City Point, reaching there at 
ten A. M. At five p. m. it took transport and steamed down 
the James. It passed Fortress Monroe at midnight and 
arrived at Baltimore at 5 p. m. of the 7th, being the first regi- 


ment of the division to arrive. About midniglit it was 
loaded, with the Fourteenth New Jersey, into cattle-cars, 
crowded to their utmost, and was taken to Frederick City, 
where it arrived at nine o'clock next morning, after a weari- 
some ride, and reported to General Lew "Wallace, who was 
glad enough to have his militia reinforced by some veteran 

The situation was as follows : General Early, with a 
force of something over 15,000 men," comprising Stone- 
wall Jackson's old corps, of 12,000 men, with other infantry 
and cavalry and forty guns, had pushed through the gate- 
way of the valley, left open by the retirement of Hunter 
and Sigel, into Maryland ; had burned part of "Williamsport^ 
a,nd put Hagerstown under contribution. His main force on 
the 7th of July was at Middletown, Md., a few miles west of 
Frederick City and separated from it by the Catoctin Moun- 
tains. General Wallace, commanding the middle depart- 
ment, had pushed out to Frederick City from Baltimore 
with a force of 3,000 home guards, militia and hundred-day 
troops who had never been under fire, and had taken a po- 
sition where he could intercept Early whether he was aim- 
ing at Washington or Baltimore, hoping at most to delay his 
advance till veteran troops could be brought for the defence 
of the capital. Early was preparing to brush Wallace out of 
his path, and there was sharp skirmishing between his ad- 
vance and Wallace's out-posts, a little west of the city, in the 
afternoon of the 7tli. The next morning, the Tenth Vermont, 

* The exact strength of Early's column is not easily determined. Gen- 
eral Early states that he moved down the valley with 12,000 muskets, 
which is evidence that he had more, as he always under-states his force. 
General Badeau, collating the statements of Early's subordinate generals, 
estimates that Early's army exceeded 20,000 men, after he had detached a 
force to operate in West Virginia. Colonel Cutts, of General Halleck's 
staff, made a careful computation of Early's force, which footed up 22,420 
and 60 guns. Among the wounded men left by Early at Monocacy were 
members of 57 different regiments of infantry, eight of cavalry and three 



the advance of the First brigade of Ricketts's division, ar- 
rived. General Wallace disclosed the situation to Colonel 
Henry on his arrival, and the regiment was occupied during 
the day in inarching and countermarching over various 
knolls east of the city and throwing up mock breastworks to 
make a show of strength and deceive the eyes which were 
watching the Union movements from the slopes of the 
Catoctin mountain. The whole region was now in great 
alarm and citizens were streaming through Frederick City 
from the west, with horses, cattle and other property, which 
they were removing beyond the reach of the enemy. Scouts 
and despatches from General Sigel estimated Early's force 
at 20,000 and upward. On the 8tli Early's cavalry appeared 
on various roads leading into the city and word was brought 
in to General Wallace of the movement of a heavy column 
of rebel infantry to the south, towards Buckeystown, in- 
dicating a purpose to seize the Monocacy bridges and to 
gain the Washington pike. 

As this evidently meant a movement against Washing- 
ton, General Wallace decided to withdraw to the east side of 
the Monocacy at Monocacy Junction, where he could guard 
for a time the crossing ; secure a better position for a fight; 
and hare a choice of two lines of retreat — either to Balti- 
more or Washington — when driven from the ground. Had 
he remained at Frederick City that night, he would have 
been surrounded and captured next day. As it was, he 
withdrew after night-fall by the Baltimore pike, the only 
road left open to him. It was four miles in a straight line to 
Monocacy Junction, but Early's cavalry occupied the direct 
road, and most of Wallace's command could reach the Junc- 
tion only by a detour of ten or twelve miles — part of the way 
by the Baltimore pike, and the rest across the fields and 
through tangled woods, which made the march a hard 
scramble for the men. Arriving at Monocacy Junction 
about midnight, Wallace was joined there by General Rick- 



etts with half of the Second brigade of his division — the rest 
of the brigade, under Colonel McClennan, being reported as 
on the way by rail from Baltimore. 

Battle of the Monocacy, July 9th, 1804. 

The march of the Tenth Vermont that night from Fred- 
erick City, ended at the Monocacy Bridge about one o'clock 
in the morning, when a picket line under Lieut. Colonel 
Chandler was posted on the west bank of the river, and the 
rest dropped to sleep for an hour or two. Before daylight 
they were aroused, and the lines were formed for battle. 
Wallace's line extended for three miles and a half along the 
eastern bank of the river, from the stone bridge by which 


the Baltimore pike crosses tlie Monocacy, south across the 
railroad and the Washington pike to a point about a mile 
below the railroad bridge. The river in front of this line was 
crossed by three bridges, the stone bridge on the extreme 
right, the iron railroad bridge two miles and a half below, 
and a wooden bridge on the Washington pike, a short dis- 
tance to the left of the railroad bridge. A rude earthwork, 
armed with a howitzer, guarded the railroad bridge, and at 
the west end of the wooden bridge stood a block-house, built 
a year or two before for the protection of a bridge guard. 
The right wing of Wallace's command, consisting of the 
Maryland " Home brigade " and Ohio militia, under Briga- 
dier General E. B. Tyler, held the line from the stone bridge 
to the railroad. The left wing, composed of Bicketts's veter- 
ans, extended a mile to the south across the Washington 
pike and along the river, with the half of the Second brigade 
that was on the ground posted on the right of the division 
line, its right resting on Gamble's mill race, about a quarter 
of a mile to the left of the railroad, and the First (Truex's) 
brigade on the left, stretching down parallel with the river 
through the corn-fields and meadows. Of this brigade the 
Tenth Vermont was the left regiment, and thus held the ex- 
treme left of the line. A squadron of the Eighth Illinois 
Cavalry, under Lieut. Colonel Clendennin, was posted at a 
ford farther down the river.' 

Wallace did not have men enough to form a continuous 
line on his right, and on his left he had but a single line. 
His right wing was but scantily supported and his left wing 

' Of the Union generals, General Wallace, of Indiana, had commanded 
a division which took an important part at Shiloh ; General Tyler, of Ohio, 
had fought and rendered eminent service at Port Republic, Antietam, 
Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville ; General Ricketts had distinguished 
himself in the Mexican war, at the first Bull Run, and in the Army of the 
Potomac. Early's division commanders were Breckenridge, Gordon, 
Ramseur and Rodes. "Robber McCausland" and General Johnson com- 
ananded his cavalry. 


had no reserves. He had a single battery, Alexander's 
Baltimore Light Artillery, of six guns, never before in action. 
This he divided, giving Tyler and Ricketts each three guns. 
On the west side of the river a skirmish line of 200 men of 
the First regiment Maryland Home Brigade was deployed, 
which was strengthened later by a detail of 75 men of the 
Tenth Vermont, under First Lieutenant George E. Davis of 
company D. At the request of Captain Brown, commanding 
the Maryland detachment, Lieutenant Davis took command 
of the skirmish line. 

Indications of the approach of the enemy began to 
appear about seven o'clock in the morning. Soon after that 
hour. Surgeon Barr, the medical director of the division, 
Surgeon Rutherford of the Tenth, and Chaplain Haynes 
were leisurely riding toward Frederick, where they had en- 
gaged breakfast, when they were met and fired on by a party 
of Early's cavalry. They wheeled and beat a hasty re- 
treat, fortunately unharmed. A few minutes later the cav- 
alry outpost was driven in, and about 8 o'clock Early's 
column appeared. He halted on the pike, half a mile back 
from the river, threw forward a line of skirmishers, advanced 
three batteries and opened a brisk artillery fire. The Tenth 
Vermont had stacked arms in a meadow, and some- of the 
men at the time were washing themselves at the river's brink. 
At the sound of the guns the men fell in promptly ; and the 
regiment was drawn back a short distance to the edge of a 
corn-field, on higher ground, where it awaited developments. 

Early's plan of attack was a good one. Learning that the 
Monocacy was fordable at a point a mile and a half below 
the bridges, he made no eflbrt to force a crossing by these ; 
but, keeping up his artillery fire and the skirmishing near the 
bridge-heads to occupy his enemy, he ordered Gordon to 
take his division across the river by the ford, and to attack 
Wallace's left from below, and drive it back from the bridges, 
when Ramseur's division, held back behind the batteries, 


was to cross bj the bridges and aid in accomplishing the 
total discomfiture of his opponent. 

Skirmishing began on the west side of the river about 
nine o'clock. Many of Early's skirmishers were dressed in 
the blue clothing which Sigel had left for them at Martins- 
burg, and the Maryland hundred-day men could not be per- 
suaded to fire at them and begged the Vermonters to stop 
firing, till the humming of minie balls about their ears and 
the wounding of some of their men satisfied them that they 
were facing foes. Early gave his immediate opponents just 
enough to attend to to keep them where they were, while 
Gordon moved to the ford. Here McCausland's cavalry 
had driven away the company of Illinois cavalry posted 
to guard the ford. Then, crossing the stream, McCaus- 
land dismounted two of his regiments, and without waiting 
for the infantry, moved up against the left of Ilicketts's line. 
He was, however, easily repulsed, with the aid of a section 
of the Baltimore battery. In this repulse, a portion of the 
Tenth took part. Meantime Gordon crossed at the ford, and 
moving up on the east side deployed his column under cover 
of the woods. The character and object of his movement 
had become plain to General Ricketts and he changed his 
front to meet it, swinging back his left and advancing the 
right of his line, til it stood nearly at right angles with the 
river. His right rested on the river. His left extended to 
the junction of the Buckeystown road with the Washington 
pike, and his left regiment was the Tenth Vermont. Here, a 
short distance back from the pike, stood the brick house of 
Mr. Thomas, the owner of the farm on which the opposing 
lines were formed, and from behind the fences to the right 
and left of this house the Tenth resisted for a time the first 
advance of the enemy.' South of the Thomas house stretched 

• At the sudden opening of the artillery firing in the morning Mr. 
Thomas and his family fled to the cellar of his house, where they remained 
all day. Some wounded men of the Tenth Vermont were taken into the 


a piece of open and nearly level ground, some 700 yards wide, 
ending at the skirt of timber, in and behind which Gordon 
formed his lines. General Gordon formed his division in 
three lines, partly en. echelon. Evans's brigade of Georgia 
troops ^ formed his first line and advanced on his right. His 
second line comprised Hays's and Staflbrd's brigades of 
Louisiana troops, under General York ; his third line was 
the " Stonewall brigade " and Jones's brigade, of Virginia 
troops, under General William Terry. Several guns, of 
King's Virginia artillery, were also brought across by the 
ford and were disposed in Gordon's line. 

To oppose this formidable array General Wallace relied 
on his left wing. He dared not bring troops from his right 
to support his left, for he was momentarily expecting an at- 
tempt to force a crossing by the stone bridge, upon success- 
ful resistance to which depended his own possession of the 
Baltimore pike, to relinquish which would be to allow him- 
self to be pinched between two bodies, each stronger than 
his own. He, however, sent to Ricketts two more guns of 
Alexander's battery ; called in the skirmishers from across 
the river, though only a portion of them got the order to 
come in ; and burned the wooden bridge, to prevent the 
throwing of a force across the river by that means upon 
Hicketts's right flank. 

To resist Gordon's five brigades, Ricketts had a brigade 
and a half, and was at a like heavy disadvantage as regarded 
artillery, the Confederate batteries across the river continu- 
ing active, and enfilading his line after his change of front, 
without any reply from his guns. 

The movements and dispositions of forces occupied the 

<',ellar. During the fighting in the afternoon the walls of the house were 
pierced with solid shot and shell ; and later in the day the house was filled, 
■w ith Confederate wounded. 

The Thirteenth, Twenty-sixth, Thirty -first, Thirty-eighth, Sixtieth. 

and Sixty-first Georgia. 


forenoon and two hours after noon. In General Ricketts's 
final re-arrangement of liis line, the Tenth was drawn back 
from the Thomas house to the Washington pike. This at 
that point ran through a cut, w^hich afforded ]:)rotection from 
the front fire, though shells still dropped into it from across 
the river. To guard his left flank, which was the extreme 
left of Eicketts's line, Colonel Henry detached Major Dil- 
lingham with three companies, and sent him a short dis- 
tance down the Buckeystown road, where he took position 
behind a fence and iringe of bushes. About three o'clock 
Gordon's skirmishers emerged from the woods and ad- 
vanced, followed by the battle line of Evans's brigade, which 
faced the line of the One Hundred and Sixth New York and 
Tenth Vermont, extending beyond the latter to its left. 
Alexander's guns opened on the advancing line, and it halted 
and lay down till the second line had closed up in its rear, 
when the men of Evans's brigade sprang up and advanced in 
excellent order, with colors flying. Awaiting them was a 
line of bare-headed men along the sunken road, tearing 
cartridges and putting them in little convenient piles, or 
dropping buckshot into guns already loaded with ball. "Aim 
low and wait for the order to fire," was the word passed 
along the line, and the butternut ranks were permitted to 
approach till the " C. S. A." on their equipments was almost 
visible, when Colonel Henry gave the order, and a sheet of 
fire burst from the road-side and a shower of lead beat against 
their front. They halted and opened fire, but with compara- 
tively Jittle effect, so far at least as the Tenth Vermont was 
concerned ; and they soon fell back in disorder. General Gor- 
don, in his report, kindly suggests that Evans's alignment was 
broken by the wheat-stacks in the field through which he 
charged ; but the official statements of the loss of his brig- 
ade show that it encountered some shocks that were not of 
wheat. General Evans was wounded, and Colonel Lamar and 
the lieutenant colonel of the Sixty-first Georgia were killed. 


"Several other regimental commanders of this brigade," 
says Gordon, " were wounded, some it is feared, mortally," 
and the brigade lost heavily both in officers and men. 

Gordon now advanced his second and third lines, and a 
continuous fight of an hour or more followed. A portion of 
Evans's line passed the Thomas house, only to be raked and 
driven back by the fire of Dillingham's detachment. A Con- 
federate officer appears, flag in hand, to lead a charge against 
the Union line ; but as he shovits to his men to follow, he 
goes down with the colors, and the line he was to lead melts 
and scatters back to shelter. The contest here becomes one 
of sharpshooting between the lines, about twenty rods apart. 
But Gordon is steadily extending his lines beyond Ricketts's 
flank, while the latter desperately held his position, in hopes 
that the arrival of the other half of his Second brigade, which 
was momentarily expected, would turn the scale in his favor. 
But Colonel McClennan, for some unexplained reason, never 
came. He stopped at Monrovia Station, eight miles to the 
rear; and, though thus within hearing of the battle, he there 
remained, with his command. Despairing at last of help from 
this or any other quarter. General Wallace was brought face to 
face with the question of retreat ; but inspired, as he says, 
" by the splendid behavior of Ricketts and his men," he held 
on till the gathering strength of the enemy on both flanks of 
the latter, showed that to longer hold his ground was certain 
capture. General Wallace accordingly ordered Bicketts to 
fall back to the Baltimore pike, along which the hundred- 
day men were already retreating, and to make his way by 
that route to New Market, Md. 

The sudden starting of Alexander's guns to the rear and 
the yells of the enemy from the direction of the river, as they 
followed up the departure of the right of Eickett's line, told 
the officers of the Tenth that something was happening in 
that quarter ; but having no orders to leave. Colonel Henry 
held on with his regiment and the One Hundred and Sixth 


New York till after all the rest of the division had retreated. 
At last an order reached liim to "for God's sake" get his 
command out as soon as possible. This was easier said than 
done. The enemy already blocked the way to the cross-road 
along which the rest of the division had retired, and had 
occupied the pike on the left. Behind the regimental line 
was a high fence and corn-field. This was on rising ground, 
which would expose the men to the enemy's fire ; but it was the 
only way out. Sending word to Dillingham to follow, Henry 
ordered his men to start for the rear, and stay not on the 
order of their going. They rushed for the fence ; threaded 
the corn-field, their flight hastened by the zip of bullets 
among the corn and the yells of the pursuing enemy ; took a 
circuit around a hill and through an orchard ; reached the 
railroad track beyond ; and made their way along this to the 
east to a country road leading across to the Baltimore pike. 
They went a short distance on this road, till Colonel Henry, 
from the top of a hill, perceived that their retreat by that 
way was likely to be cutoff. He accordingly turned back; 
rallied a short line of fugitives and drove back a party of the 
enemy who were approaching through a railroad cut ; and 
then took his regiment, now reduced to about 150 muskets, 
together wdtli a few men of the One Hundred and Sixth New 
York who had fought and retreated Avith the Tenth Termont, 
by way of the railroad track to Monrovia Station. 

So much for the main body of the regiment. The expe- 
riences of Lieutenant Davis and the skirmishers under his 
command, across the river, can best be told in his own words. 
He says : 

About 10:30 a. m., during the first charge, the long 
wooden bridge at my left, over the river, was burned b}' order 
of General Wallace, to guard against a flank attack upon 
General Bicketts's line from the enemj'. Previous to firing 
the bridge, the picket line from the hill to the bridge had 
been withdrawn without notice to us. This was a queer pre- 
dicament ; nothing upon my left ; raw recruits upon my 


riglit ; the euemy advancing upon our front ; the Monocacy 
river behind us. My orders in the morning were "to hold 
the bridge over the railroad at all hazards." I sent a soldier 
to wade or swim the river, and ask for instnictions from 
Lieut. Colonel C. G. Chandler, in charge of the division skir- 
mish detail. My soldier brought back no instructions, but 
the comforting intelligence that Lieut. Colonel Chandler sup- 
posed that we had retreated over the bridge before it was 
burned. The enemy pressed us so hard at one time that for 
a few moments we sought refuge in a railroad cut a few rods 
to the rear, but quickly regained our position and hel I it. It 
was now noon. No orders had been received from any source 
since the first charge in the morning. We knew not the plan 
or situation, only as apparent to the eye. Not many of the 
100-day men were injured, unless by the weight of their 
heavy knapsacks, for most of them left us in season to have 
reached a place of safety. "When the last attack was made 
by the enemy at 3:30 p. m., and during the severe fighting in 
the hour or more that followed, our skirmish line was active- 
ly engaged. A sharp watch of the euemy before us and of 
our two exposed flanks — posts vacated by the withdrawal of 
the picket at our left when the bridge was burned, and by the 
the retreat of the recruits at our right — rendered our situa- 
tion very exciting. Apprehending an advance of the enemy 
at my left, I sent a man to examine and report. He was 
shot at once. Immediately the enemy was seen passing 
around our left to cut us off from retreat by the iron bridge. 
While this was going on we saw our division falling back, and 
the division headquarters flag was crossing the railroad in 
our rear. It was now time for us to leave or be taken prison- 
ers. We crossed the iron bridge, stepping upon the ties, 
there being no floor. The enemy came in upon us, upon 
both flanks, firing at our backs at a range of ten to 20 rods, 
and calling upon us to surrender. Some of our men were 
killed ; others were wounded and fell through the bridge to 
the Monocacy river, 40 feet below. Five of my own company 
marching near me were taken prisoners upon or near the 
bridge, one of whom died in Anderson ville prison. One-third 
of my picket detail were killed, wounded or captured. It has 
always been a mystery how any of us escaped the bullet or 
capture. We soon came up with our division, and in due 
time turned from the cross road into the pike, pursued by 
the Confederate cavalry, who harassed our rear. 

At Monrovia Station Colonel Henry found that the por- 
tion of the Second brigade which had waited there during 


the battle, had moved back to New Market. He was fortunate 
enough also to find on the track an engine and train of 
empty cars, upon which he at once placed his men and took 
them back to the intersection of the railroad and Baltimore 
pike, near New Market. Here he stopped, posted out- 
posts on the cross roads and awaited the arrival of General 
Wallace, avIio w^as marching thither by the jDike. Wallace 
arrived about dark, and was glad to find there the Tenth, 
which he supposed had been captured. 

The battle of the Monocacy, it will be perceived, was 
fought hj Eicketts's division, or rather by a portion thereof. 
Of the behavior of the division General Wallace says : " It 
would be a difficult t; k to say enough in praise of the vet- 
erans who made this fight. Tor the truth's sake, I wdsh 
it distinctly understood that though the appearance of the 
enemy's fourth line of battle made their ultimate defeat 
certain, they were not whipped ; on the contrary, they were 
fighting steadily with unbroken front when I ordered their 
retirement." The division suffered heavily, losing 84 killed, 
511 wounded and 1,054 reported missing, about half of 
whom were cut off and captured — the rest scattering into 
the w^oods, and soon rejoining their commands. This was 
the loss of about every other man of those engaged. The 
enemy's loss in killed and wounded largely exceeded the 
Union loss in killed and wounded. Early, in his " Memoir," 
says his loss was " about 700 " killed and wounded. This is 
a heavy under-statement. General Gordon, in his report, 
adrcdts a loss of 698 in his division alone ; ' but though this 

' I desire to state a fact of which I was an eye witness, and which for 
its rare occurrence and the evidence it affords of the sanguinary character 
of this struggle, I consider worthy of official mention. One portion of the 
enemy's line extended along a branch, from which he was driven, leaving 
many dead and wounded in the water and iipon its banks. The position 
was in turn occupied by a portion of Evans's brigade. * * * So pro- 
fuse was the flow of blood from the killed and wounded of both these 
forces that it reddened the stream for more than a hundred yards below. 
1 regret to state that my loss was heavy in both officers and men."— Re- 
port of Major General Johr. B. Gordon. 


did most of the figliting on the Confederate side, Early's loss 
was by no means confined to this division. His cavalry 
must have lost a number of men, and the skirmishing on the 
•west side of the river was not without loss to the enemv. 
Early left in Frederick City over 400 men too severely 
wounded to be moved ; and this number was evidently but 
ii fraction of his total loss, which probably exceeded 1,000. 

The casualties in the Tenth Vermont were astonishingly 
small. They were three killed and 2G wounded — of Avliom 
four died pf their wounds — and 32 missing.' Of the latter, 
nine died in Confederate prisons. Among the men at first 
reported missing, who came in later, was Oscar E. Wait of 
company I, who after being captured near Monrovia by the 
Confederate cavalry, made his escape hj knocking down a 
guard. He was recaptured three days later near Clarksburg, 
and while on the way to Eichmond with 300 other prisoners, 
he picked up a discarded gray jacket, slipped it over his 
blouse, and taking a musket which one of the guard had left 
leaning against a tree for a moment, during a halt at night, 
took his place among the guard, instead of with the prisoners. 
Watching his opportunity he then made his escape, accom- 
panied by a comrade, and the two reached the Union lines 
in safety, bringing with them a Confederate officer with his 
horse and arms, whom they met and captured on the road 
at some distance from his command. 

The battle of the Monocacy was overshadowed by other 
less important events attending Early's raid against Wash- 
ington ; and so made less stir at the time and occupies much 
less space in the histories than it deserves. It was a stout 

' The killed were Sergeant Lyman B, Pike and Corporal J. G. Wright 
of company E, and Wm. H. Button of company I. Sergeant W. Peabody 
and Dennis Lochlin of company C. Albert Bellows of company F and 
Albert M. Smith died of wounds. 

Martin Cane of company B, L. B. Vincent of company F, L. G. Wood- 
bury of company G, Rufus Noyes of company H, H. D. Batchley and E. 
W. Skeels of company I, and Leander Davis of company K, died in prison 
at Danville, Va., and Robert Rankin of company D, died at Savannah, Ga. 


and most creditable fight on the part of the veteran troops 
engaged ; and, though a defeat in name and fact, it accom- 
plished as much as many a victory ; for it delayed Early's 
advance on Washington for two days. The time thus gained 
enabled the rest of the Sixth Corps to reach Washington 
about as soon as he did, as has been elsewhere narrated, and 
in all human probability saved the national capital from cap- 
ture. To have had a gallant share in this achievement, is a 
distinction of which the Tenth Vermont had a right to be 
proud . 

Wallace bivouacked that night, with his shattered com- 
mand, near New Market, about twelve miles from the field, 
and next day continued his retreat to Ellicot's Mills, fifteen 
miles west of Baltimore. There the exhausted men were 
supplied with food by the loyal citizens ; but the Tenth Ver- 
mont had but short time for rest, being ordered on six miles, 
farther, to the Relay House. It arrived there that night, 
with 12 ofticers and 69 men fit for duty.' This number 
however, was trebled when the stragglers came in. The regi- 
ment had been continually under arms for seventy hours. It 
was marching about Frederick City all day Frida}- ; marched 
most of Friday night ; stood in line all day and fought for 
eight hoiirs on Saturday ; and marched over forty miles, in 
retreat, with scant rations, during the next twenty-four hours 
— all this in the hot July weather ! Under such circum- 
stances, straggling was no crime. 

On the 11th the regiment went by train to Baltimore. 
The' loyal population of that city had been in great alarm, 
occasioned by the defeat of Wallace and by Harry Gilmor's 
cavalry raid on the Baltimore and Philadelphia road, in 
which he captured Major General Franklin and some civil- 
ians, among the latter being D. W. C. Clarke, of Burlington.' 

^ Statement of Chaplain Haynes. 

'General Franklin soon made liis escape, and the civilians were 
released by Gilmor. 


This and other incidents of Gilmor's raid, such as the 
burning of Governor Bradford's suburban residence near the 
city, created much excitement in Baltimore, which, however, 
was in a measure relieved by the arrival of Eicketts's vet- 

On the 14th, the division took cars for Washington, 
and next day marched through Georgetown to Tenallytown, 
and on towards Edwards Ferry, following ths other divisions 
of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, which had gone in pur- 
suit of Early. On the 16th the division forded the Potomac 
two miles below Edwards Ferry, and at Leesburg next day 
overtook the Nineteenth Corps and found Colonel Thomas 
of the Eighth Vermont in command of the troops doing 
guard duty in the town, and that nest of guerrillas perfectly 
quiet under his firm rule. Near Leesburg, on the evening of 
the 17th, the division joined the rest of the Sixth Corps. 
The Tenth, with the division, shared the hard marching of 
the next two weeks, back and forth in Maryland. On the 
28th it was again at Monocacy Junction, where some of the 
Vermonters found some of the bodies of both the Union 
and Confederate dead still unburied on the field, and buried 


The campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, under Sheridan, 
began on the 8th of August. In the march to Winchester on 
the 10th, the Tenth Vermont guarded the wagon train. 
About this time Colonel Henry was taken sick and obliged 
to leave his command. During the engagement at Charles- 
town, Va., on the 21st, the regiment stood to arms with the 
Third division ; but no serious fighting took place at that end 
of the line. 

On the 6th of September the regiment voted for Ver- 
mont State officers. The marching and experiences of the 
last few weeks had told heavily on the health of the officers 


and men. Colonel Henry, Lieut. Colonel Chandler, Captain 
Salsbury and otliers went home on sick-leave, and the sick 
list of the regiment exceeded 300. 

In the battle of the Opequon on the 19th of September, 
the regiment was commanded by Major Dillingham, who 
took about 350 men into the tight. In the first deployment 
of the Sixth Corps on that field Pdcketts's division was 
formed in two lines on the right of the Berryville pike, facing 
Ramseur's division, the Nineteenth Corps being on its right. 
About noon, in the advance of the brigade and di\'ision to 
the assault, under the severe fire of Braxton's artillery. 
Major Dillingham was struck in the left thigh by a solid 
shot which almost tore off the leg. He was borne bleeding 
to the rear and died in three hours. About the same time 
Lieutenant Hill of company H had his thigh-bone splintered 
by a grape* shot, inflicting a wound from wbich he died. 
After the fall of Major Dillingham, the command of the 
Tenth devolved upon Captain Lucius T. Hunt of company H, 
who handled the regiment efficiently, assisted by Adjutant 
Lyman. The regiment advanced through a piece of woods 
and across an open field, when it came under musketry fire 
from the enemy's line, a short distance beyond. The first 
line halted and began firing ; the second line closed upon it, 
and lines and commands became considerably mixed for a 
time. Under the charge of Battles's brigade, of Rodes's 
division, which beat back the left of the Nineteenth Corps 
and the right of Eicketts's division, the Tenth fell back with 
the Vvrigade ; was re-formed advanced again and lay down 
till ordered forward in the last grand charge and rout of the 
enemy, in which the regiment participated with spirit. 

The rejoicing among the men of the Tenth over the pun- 
ishment inflicted in this battle on Gordon's and Ramseur's 
divisions, which had so roughly handled Ricketts's division 
in the battle of the Monocacy, was sadly tempered by sorrow 


over the loss of their gallant young major/ and of other good 
officers and men. 

The Tenth lost in this battle 11 killed and 52 wounded. 
Four men were reported missing, all of whom soon after re- 
joined the regiment. Among the wounded were First Lieu- 
tenant L. A. Abbott of company E, who was shot in the 

' Edwin Dillingham was born in Waterbury, on the 13th of May, 1839, 
being the second son of Hon. Paul Dillingham and his wife, Julia C. Car- 
penter. His boyhood and youth were spent in his native town. In 1858 he 
began the study of law in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the office of his 
brother-in-law, the Hon. Matthew H. Carpenter, and afterwards pursued 
his studies in the law school at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he graduated 
with honor in the autumn of 1859. In 1860 he was admitted to the Wash- 
ington County bar, and was his father's law partner when, in the summer 
of 1863, he decided to enliit. He recruited a company, of which he was 
elected captain, which became company B of the Tenth regiment. Soon 
after the regiment took the field. Captain Dillingham was detailed for duty 
on the staff of General Morris, the brigade commander, and acted as aid to 
this officer at the battle of Orange Grove, November 27th, 1863. While 
carrying an order to his own regiment, during this battle, his horse was 
shot under him and he was taken prisoner. He was confined in Libby 
Prison for four months ; was paroled in March following, and soon after- 
wards exchanged. During the Wilderness campaign he took a battalion of 
exchanged prisoners to the front and rejoined his regiment at Cold Harbor, 
on the 3d of June. Colonel Henry had been wounded on the 1st, and Cap- 
tain Frost, the ranking line officer, mortally wounded. Lieut. Colonel 
Chandler was soon taken sick, and the command of the Tenth devolved 
for a time upon Captain Dillingham. He was commissioned major on the 
17th of June, and from this time until his death he was constantly with 
the regiment. He was second in command and distinguished himself at 
the battle of the Monocacy. He commanded the regiment at Charlestown 
on the 21st of August, and from this time on until he fell. Among his last 
words were these : 'I am willing to give my life for my country, and I 
am not afraid to die." A comrade described him as " young, handsome, 
brilliant, brave amid trials, cheerful under discouragements, upright, and 
with the kindness of heart which characterizes the true gentleman, com- 
bined with firmness and energy as a commander ; respected by all of his 
command, and loved by all his companions." His remains were taken for 
interment to his home in Waterbury. 

Daniel Gilbert Hill was born in Hubbardton in 1844. His parents 
moved to Wallingford, where he was reared upon his father's farm. At 
the opening of the war he was a druggist's clerk, at Rutland. He enlisted 
in the summer of 1862 in Captain Sheldon's company, and on the organiza- 
tion of the regiment he was appointed commissary sergeant. He was 



face, First Lieutenant George E. Davis of company D, who 
w^as stunned by the explosion of a shell (which took off the 
head of a man at his side) and was slightly wounded in the 
ear by a fragment, and Lieutenant Hill.' 

At Fisher's Hill on the 21st, the Tenth was with the 
First brigade of the third division of the Sixth Corps, which 
formed the right of Sheridan's line, on the west slope of 
Flint's Hill. It took part in the rush upon the enemy's 
works on the afternoon of the 22d, the men crazy with ex- 
citement as they dashed over abatis and breastwork and 
seized gun after gun, from which Gordon's men had fled. In 
this battle. Lieutenant John A. Hicks of the Tenth, aid on 

commissioned second lieutenant of company H, in January, 1863, when he 
was less than 19 years old, and five months later was promoted to be first 
lieutenant of company G. He served as aid to General Morris, during the 
year 1863, and in the battles of Kelley's Ford and Orange Grove. In 
March, 1864, he returned to his company. He fought in all the battles in 
which his regiment was engaged until he fell at the Opequon. He sank under 
two successive amputations of the thigh, in the hospital at Winchester, and 
died there a few weeks after. His body was taken to his home in Wal- 
lingford for burial. 

' The rank and file killed were : Company F, Sergeant Orcemer 
R. McGowan and Corporal John Louiselle; company G, Ira J. Eager, 
Edwin S. Battles, Peter Bingham and Josiah Clark; company H, Owen 
Bartley, Duncan Carron, Aaron P. Knight and Simon Lesage. 

The wounded were : Company A, Corporal J. B. Berthiaume, Cor- 
poral C. A. Conelly and Joseph Tyler; company B, Sergeant Jerome 
Ayers, I. I. Johnson, W. H. Crossett and John Kublee; company C, Henry 
Minor, Edward P. Kimberly, John Lewis, H. D. Bates, Joseph White, F. 
H. Hoadley, Allen Rogers, M. Hubbard and N. King ; company D, Ser- 
geant H. C. Irish, Sergeant G. P. Shedd, Emerson Fay, Alfred Boucher, 
George Burnett and Charles Cushman ; company E, George W. Ben- 
nett and B. C. Gilder; company F, Sergeant L. H. Robinson, Corporal 
Thomas Phelps, W. S. Dingmau, L. Shepard, John Larose and George 
A. Parker ; company G, Corporal D. B. Freeman, N. F. Doton, D. B. Ful- 
ler and D. M. Gilson ; company H, Sergeant E. J. Herrick, S. H. 
Parker, Corporal I. M. Dunbar, D. J. Keating, John Daily, W. A. Sloan 
and F. J. Hale; company I, David Gochey; company K. Sergeant B. B. 
Clark, Sergeant Haschil Hunt, Corporal Zopher M. Mansur, Ambrose 
Allard, Dawson Burt, Frederick Root and William Law. 

Of the wounded Emerson C. Fay of company C, and Dan B. Fuller of 
company G, died of their wounds. 


the staff of the brigade commander, was severely wounded 
in the thigh, and Lieutenant Foster, of company B, received 
a shght wound in the shoulder. The casualties in the rank 
and file were one man killed, Plummer B. Hall, who was 
sho^ while detailed as a sharpshooter on the skirmish line, 
and «ix men wounded.' 

At Cedar Creek, on the 19th of October, Colonel Henry 
was in command, having rejoined his regiment at Harrisonburg, 
but was hardly convalescent from his fever. The Third divi- 
sion of the Sixth Corps was nearer to the point of attack of 
the enemy than the other divisions of the corps, and at the 
sound of the first volley, at its left, the Tenth fell promptly 
into line in the early morning. Soon the division headquar- 
ters flag flew along the line, and Colonel Keifer, command- 
ing, (General Ricketts being in command of the corps), took 
the division to the left and rear, to the crest where the First 
and Third divisions formed a line a little west of the pike and 
parallel with it, facing east. Gordon and Kershaw had over- 
borne the resistance offered by Thomas's brigade and other 
troops of the Nineteenth Corps, and were pressing forward. 
The fog and smoke hid all movements at any distance ; but 
the crowd of fugitives streaming by to the rear betokened 
serious trouble in front. The Third division was soon en- 
gaged, taking the brunt of the assault of Pegram's division, 
which had joined Gordon and Kershaw. Under a heavy fire 
from the front and an enfilading fire from a hill on the right, 
the line of the division fell back to a low ridge 400 yards far- 
ther west. Three pieces of McKnight's battery (M, Fifth U. 
S.) had been left behind in this retrograde movement, and 
the enemy had advanced to seize them, when General Bick- 
etts rode up to the First brigade. "My God, boys," he 

' The men wounded were Leroy Dodge and George Tatro of company 
B; Thomas Maguire of company D ; Sergeant A. N. Nye of company F; 
Corporal A. Litchfield and Colby Rogers of company K. Norton Danforth 
of company K, received a severe sabre cut on the head, August 24th. 


shouted, " you are not going to leave McKniglit's guns there? 
About face, and draw tbem off! " The brigade faced about, 
and sprang toward the guns, the Tenth Yermont a little in 
advance. The enemy were gathering thickly around the 
guns ; but were dispersed by several volleys, and the bat- 
tery was saved, though before the regiment retired from the 
crest with the pieces, the enemy were in force on three 
sides, and a number of brave men of its number had fallen. 
Captain Thompson was here killed. Lieutenant Davis re- 
ceived a scalp wound, and Adjutant Lyman was shot through 
both legs. Of the action of the regiment in this and the 
subsequent portions of the battle. Colonel Henry says in 
his report : 

When our line fell back, three pieces of Captain Mc- 
Kniglit's battery (M, 5th U. S.) had been left, and the rebels ad- 
vanced to these guns. Seeing this, a charge was ordered, and 
the regiment, with the colors in advance, charged up to the 
guns and recovered them. Sergeant William Mahoney, of 
company E, color-bearer of the regiment, was the first to 
reach the guns, planting the colors upon one of tbem. The 
rebels gave way in confusion, and fled across the valley and 
over the ridge beyond. The re-captured guns were drawn off, 
it being necessai^j' to draw two of them some distance by hand. 

The rebels, having rallied, poured in a heavy fire from 
the front and right, a heavy column advancing up the valley 
from that direction. The troops on the left falling back be- 
yond our line, we were soon exposed to a fire from that flank 
also. The loss at this point was very severe, and the line 
fell back to the second ridge. Here a stand was made, and 
the rebels were again driven from the crest in front, which 
they attempted to carry. But pursuing their advantage on 
the left, they soon flanked us in such force as to compel a 
retreat of the whole lioe. Although broken and somewhat 
scattered in places, the line fell back slowly, the men con- 
stantly turning and firing. In this way we retired about a 
mile, the enemy having all the time a cross-fire of musketry 
upon us, as well as a sharp fire from several guns command- 
ing the whole plain. Captain L. D. Thompson, commanding 
company D, was killed while thus retreating, and the loss 
was very heavy. Reaching a cross road, the line was halted, 
and re-formed, about nine A. m. The enemy forebore to press 


US further ou this point, but as they advanced on our left, 
our line was withdrawn some distance further. 

At this time General Sheridan arrived on the field. The 
line was immediately re-formed. Breastworks of rails and 
logs were thrown up, in which we lay until about half-past 
three p. M., when a general advance was ordered. The regi- 
ment, with the general line of the division, moved forward 
through woods into an open field, where the advance was 
checked for a few minutes, until the remainder of the line 
coming up, we again pushed on and drove the rebels from a 
strong position behind a stone wall, forcing them back about 
half a mile. Here they took up a very strong position on a 
continuous ridge, along the crest of which ran a stone wall, 
and made a determined stand. The fire was incessant and 
very heavy for about half an hour, but the enemy finally gave 
way before our fire. A general charge was ordered, and the 
troops advancing on the run, the rebels gave way in complete 
disorder. The cavalry took up the pursuit, and little resist- 
ance was attempted after this time. In this last charge Ser- 
geant Mahoney, color-bearer, was shot dead while gallantly 
advancing with the colors at the front of the regiment. We 
advanced over the battle-ground of the morning, and soon 
after dark took possession of our old camp. 

It is impossible to particularize any officers or men, 
where all so fully performed their duty and behaved so nobly. 
Adjutant Lyman was wounded while falling back from the 
first position, while encouraging the men by voice and ex- 
ample, and most gallantly performing the duties of his posi- 
tion. Captain Dewey, company A, commanded the regiment 
during the last charge, and led it through that severe engage- 
ment in a manner calling for high commendation. 

Colonel Henry led the regiment in the charge which 
rescued McKnight's battery ; but his strength gave out as 
the regiment fell back through the meadow, before the sec- 
ond stand was made, north of Middletown, and he would 
have been left in the hands of the enemy if Sergeant Green 
and Corporal Crown of company D had not assisted him, 
each taking him by an arm, and leading him out of the line 
of fire. He was able to resume command again, for a time, 
but again yielded to fatigue and exhaustion, and Captain 
Dewey, as above related, took command, and led the regiment 
in the final charge. Captain Salsbury, who had been tem- 


porarily in command of the Tenth, was detailed in the after- 
noon to command the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania, which 
had lost all of its officers above the rank of first lieutenant." 
The Tenth Vermont lost nearly one-third of the 297 
officers and men w^ho stood in its line this day. Of the sev- 
enteen officers who went into the battle only seven came out 
unharmed. The loss of the regiment was 15 killed, 66 
wounded, nine of whom died of their wounds, and four miss- 
ing." Captain Lucian D. Thompson, whose death has been 
mentioned, was slain by a musket ball which passed through 

• Captain Salsbury commanded the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania for 
the six weeks following. He was complimented by the brigade com- 
mander in a formal order and was brevetted major for his gallantry at 
Cedar Creek. 

^ The rank and file killed were ; Company B, Sergeant Leonard J. 
Foster, Jr.; company E, Color-Sergeant William Mahoney and Luther 
Moffltt ; company F, Corporal John M. Aseltyne and William Proctor ; 
company G, Sergeant Henry F. Freeman, Henry P. Burnham, Charles H. 
Crocker and George G. Edsou ; company H, Sergeant Sylvester H. Parker, 
Corporal James Hale, Norman B. Read and Franklin B. Whitcomb ; com- 
pany K, Chauncey C. Meacham. 

The rank and file wounded were : Company A, Corporal G. C. Wal- 
ter, G. H. Conly and R. C. Cole; company B, Sergeant A. H. Hoyt, 
George Brown, Isaac Godfrey, Robert Patterson and E. C. Crossett ; com- 
pany C, Sergeant William SchoUar, Sergeant E. R. Buxton, Sergeant 
Samuel Green, Corporal C. C. Churchill, C. R Dyon, Peter Avery, James 
Burns, John Carroll, J. D. Hall, Francis Bedell, Michael Naylor, Thomas 
Hennessy and Christopher George ; company D, Sergeant O. G. Brown, 
Corporal Alexander Scott, Martin L. Currier, James H. Cain, Stephen 
Lajoie, John Mayo and Patrick Gilhooly ; company E, Sergeant Lucian A. 
Foot and A. J. Mattison ; company F, Sergeant R. H. Rice, Corporal W. 

A. Jewett, Corporal J. B. Roubillard, L. M. Rice, Lyman Kenney, Peter 
Shova and Michael Green; company G, John Clough, Moses C. Bacon, B. 
G. Chatfield, Alfred Clark, C. A. Kelley, C. E. Porter and H. T. Smith ; 
company H, C. L. Corbin, C. E. Ware, J. F. Baldwin, Patrick Finegan, 
H. M. Holmes and E. A. Pease ; company I, Corporal Charles Paine, A. 
S. Ormsby and Philander Allen ; company K, Corporal Ezra L. Litchfield, 

B. F. Bowen, John Heath and B. A. Hunt. 

Of the above. Sergeant Lucian A. Foot of company E, James H. Cain 
and John Mayo of company D, Lyman Henry and Loren M. Rice of com- 
pany F, James F. Baldwin of company H, Benjamin F. Brown and Brad- 
bury A. Hunt of company K, died of their wounds. 


his head from ear to ear — being the second captain of his 
company thus shot through the head, and the last of the 
three original commissioned officers of this company to die 
in battle.' 

Among the wounded were Adjutant Wyllys Lyman, se- 
verely wounded in the thigh ; Captain Chester F. Nye of com- 
pany F, who received a wound in the arm, which occasioned 
his discharge two months after ; Second Lieutenant B. Brooks 
Clark, of company E, who received wounds in the abdomen 
and leg, from which he died two weeks later^ ; Lieutenant 
George E. Davis of company E, wounded in the head and 
shoulder; Lieutenant James M. Read, severe contusion; 
Lieutenant William Clark of company I, contusion ; Second 
Lieutenant Charles W. Wheeler of company I, leg; First 
Lieutenant George P. Welch of company K, severe wound 
in the head ; and Second Lieutenant Austin W. Fuller, se- 
verely wounded in the arm and side ; the two last named 
receiving injuries which occasioned their discharge in the 
following December. The behavior of the regiment won very 
high praise from its superior officers. 

The regiment remained with the Sixth Corps in the 
valley a little more than two months, but had no more fight- 
ing to do. On the 8th of November it voted for president, 
casting 195 votes for Lincoln and 12 for McClellan. On the 
9th it moved back to Kernstown with the army ; and on the 
10th a picket detail drove back a party of Rosser's cavalry. 

'Captain Thompson was a native of Waterbury. He assisted in the re- 
cruiting of Captain Dillingham's company and was elected its second lieu- 
tenant. In December, 1863, he was promoted to a first lieutenancy in 
company G. His modesty made him hesitate to accept promotion, but 
the tests of a dozen battles showed him deserving of further advancement, 
and in June, 1864, upon the death of Captain Darrah, he was promoted to 
the captaincy of company D. He participated in all the engagements in 
which the regiment subsequently look part. His body lay on the field for 
several hours, and was partially stripped by the enemy ; but was recov- 
ered after the battle and was sent to Waterbury for burial. 

^ Lieutenant Clark had been commissioned but not mustered. 


On the 21st it took part in the review of the Sixth Corps "by 
General Sheridan, and on the 24th it celebrated Thanksgiv- 
ing Day, dining on turkey sent to the army by the citizens 
of New York city. The men built winter quarters, but did 
not occupy them long. In the last week in November the 
movement of the Sixth Corps to rejoin the Army of the Poto- 
mac began. Following the First division, which started No- 
vember 29th, the Third division, on the 3d of December, 
marched to Stevenson's Station and was packed into freight 
cars, and bade a final adieu to the valley. Amving at 
Washington in the morning of the 4th, the troops took 
steamer to City Point, where the regiment arrived at ten 
A. M. of the 5th. There taking the military railroad the regi- 
ment was landed at Parke Station, and the next day moved 
into the intrenchments near Warren Station recently occu- 
pied by Ayres's division of the Fifth Corps, on the left of 
the Weldon railroad. Here the men found good quarters 
already built, and all was quiet in front. 

On the 9th the regiment moved out with the division in 
a storm of snow and rain, to man the lines near Hatcher's 
Kun, in place of troops which had gone to destroy the Wel- 
don railroad, thirty miles below. Next day the men stood 
in line for six hours, in half frozen mud, and then the div- 
ision moved back to its camp. A day or two later the regi- 
ment was moved to Fort Dushane, the southernmost fort on 
the Union lines, near the Weldon road. Here it remained 
till the 23d. During their two weeks' stay at this point, the 
men managed, in spite of the scanty supply of lumber^ 
to build some rough cabins, which served as a partial pro- 
tection against the severity of the wintry weather. About 
this time General Truman Seymour, the former commander 
of the Second brigade, assumed command of the division 
and it was moved forward on December 23d to the front line of 
defences. The camp of the regiment was close to the mil- 
itary railroad, near Fort Keene, half a mile west of the Wei- 


don railroad, and about a mile east of the position of the 
First Vermont brigade. It was witliin a few rods of the 
Union front line, and a little more than a mile from the rebel 
lines. The weather was stormy, wood was scarce and the 
men suffered much from cold and exposure, until they built 
huts on the slippery clay soil, after which the remainder of 
the winter was passed in comparative comfort, for soldiers 
facing the enemy. Picket duty was especially severe and 
the men did their share of work on the entrenchments. 
Thanks to the watchfulness and care of the officers and sur- 
geons and the excellent discipline of the men, the health of 
the regiment was excellent throughout the winter, and the 
men of the Tenth were complimented in special orders by 
Colonel Scriver, medical inspector of the army, for cleanli- 
ness of person and of quarters and for the orderly arrange- 
ments of their camp. 

During the month of December, several important 
changes occurred among the field and line officers. Captain 
Nye, of company F, and Lieutenants Welch and Fuller ' 
of company K, were honorably discharged on account of 
wounds received at Cedar Creek. ]?itajor Hunt was compelled 
to resign by the outbreak of his wound received at Cold 
Harbor. His departure took from the command an officer of 
mature years, of large experience, in part in the U. S. Army 
in which he had served several years in the cavalry before the 
civil war, and of unfailing courage. Lieut. Colonel Chandler 
had been court-martialled and dismissed — the only field offi- 
cer of a Vermont regiment ever so disciplined.^ Colonel 

'' Lieutenant Fuller received an appointment in the Ninth Regiment 
Veteran Reserve Corps. 

'^ Lieut. Colonel Chandler was tried November 1st, 1864, upon a charge of 
cowardice in the battle of Cedar Creek ; was found guilty by the court, and 
on the 24th of December was discharged in accordance with the sentence. 
In 1868, the Regimental Association of the Tenth Vermont adopted a reso- 
lution requesting that the record against him be changed to an honorable 
discharge. In 1875, after Lieut. Colonel Chandler's death, a resolution 
appealing to Congress to remove the record of disgrace, "which," aays the 


Hemy, who had long suffered from a tendency to pulmonary 
disease, was obliged by the condition of his health to resign. 
His departure was greatly regretted by the officers and men, 
and their personal regard and regret found expression in 
a highly complimentary parting testimonial, signed by all 
but two of the officers of the regiment. In this paper they 
also requested Colonel Henry to carry home with him and 
present to the Legislature of Vermont the tattered colors of 
the regiment, under which no less than twenty of the color- 
guard had been killed or wounded. A new and beautiful State 
flag was thereupon purchased and presented to the regiment 
by citizens of Rutland, Burlington and Montpelier. In recog- 
nition of Colonel Henry's services, he was also recommended 
by his superior officers for the brevet rank of brigadier gen- 
eral, which he received in the following March. 

The regiment, after the departure of its field officers, was 
commanded by Captain George B. Damon, of company G, 
who was at once promoted to be major, and a month later was 
further promoted to be lieutenant colonel. Adjutant WyUys 
Lyman was thereupon appointed major, and Lieutenant 
James M. Reed succeeded him as adjutant of the regiment. 

At the opening of the year 1865, the Tenth had an 
aggregate of 789 officers and men, with 418 for duty — 325 
being on the sick list, and 27 prisoners of war. 

resolution, " we believe to hare been brought about by the too precipitate 
action of the court-martial," was presented to the Reunion Society of Ver- 
mont Officers, and was at a subsequent meeting unanimously adopted, on 
the strength of a report presented by General W. W. Henry, which stated 
that pTevious to the battle of Cedar Creek, Lieut. Colonel Chandler had 
borne an excellent reputation for courage ; that he had shown himself on 
previous occasions a brave and efficient officer ; that in the earlier hours 
of the battle of Cedar Creek he assisted in the recapture of the guns of Mc- 
Knight's battery ; that when tried, he had but a day's notice of the charges 
and insufficient time to prepare for the trial • that the action of the court 
was precipitate , and that in the opinion of the committee the finding of 
the court would have been disapproved by the Judge Advocate General 
if all the facts, and especially Lieut. Colonel Chandler's previous good 
character for courage and fidelity, had been brought out. No action upon 
the subject was taken by Congress. 


In the assault upon and capture of the enemy's en- 
trenched picket line in front of Petersburg on the 25tli of 
March, the Tenth took an important part. As has been 
shown in previous pages, this affair had almost the propor- 
tions of a pitched battle, half of the Sixth Corps and a large 
portion of the Second Corps being engaged, and losing over 
800 men in killed and wounded, while Hill's corps on the 
other side lost as many or more killed and wounded, be- 
sides nearly a thousand men captured. 

The Tenth stood to arms that morning with the rest of 
the corps, during the capture and re-capture of Fort Stead- 
man ; and half of the regiment was among the first troops of 
the Sixth Corps sent to feel of the enemy's lines in the coun- 
ter assault of the afternoon. The picket line of General 
Seymour's division that day consisted of 230 men of the 
Tenth Vermont and 160 of the Fourteenth New Jersey. 
Directions having been received from General Wright to 
push out the skirmish lines, in order to see if the enemy 
had depleted his force at that point to reinforce his left. Gen- 
eral Seymour sent Lieut. Colonel Damon to temporarily 
relieve the division field-officer of the day, and take command 
of the pickets. The One Hundred and Tenth and One Hun- 
dred and Twenty-second Ohio regiments, of Keifer's brigade, 
were sent to him to support his line. At three o'clock 
Damon ordered forward his men, in the general advance 
of the skirmishers. They were received with a brisk fire 
of musketry from the rifle-pits in front, and of artillery 
from the enemy's batteries farther back, to which the Union 
batteries replied with effect. The men of the Tenth had ad- 
vanced about half way across the open ground in their front, 
when they perceived that the skirmishers on their right had 
halted and some of them were retreating, followed by the 
enemy's skirmishers. They accordingly halted and lay 
down. Elsewhere the pickets and their supports fell back 
to the original line. A stronger assault was now organized. 


General Keifer brought forward the other four regiments of 
his brigade to support those before employed, which were 
now put into the skirmish line, and himself took charge 
of the movement. The detachment of the Tenth A^'ermont, 
as before, was the left of the division skirmish line. It had 
held its advanced position, and as soon as the rest of the 
skirmishers came up with it, the men started forward on 
the double-quick, with loud cheering, and without firing a 
shot till the breastwork was reached and surmounted. They 
then began firing, A few of the Confederates behind the 
works ran for their main line ; but a larger portion threw 
down their arms. One hundred and sixty Confederates, 
including several officers, were captured by the Tenth in 
the trenches. Having no men to spare, Damon sent the 
prisoners to the rear without guards, and as the fire from 
the main line of the Confederate works was still hot, they 
needed no second bidding, but started at a lively pace for 
the Union main line, where they were fcsoon joined by 700 of 
their comrades who had been taken on right and left. The 
Tenth Vermont held the portion of the entrenched line 
which it had carried, till the next morning, when it was re- 
lieved. The Tenth lost two men killed ' and four wounded in 
this charge. 


In the final assault upon the lines of Petersburg, on the 
2d of April, 1865, the Tenth Vermont took a truly brilliant 
part. The Sixth Corps, it will be remembered, was formed 
for this assault with the Second division in the centre and 
the First and Third divisions on right and left. The Third 
division took position in front of Fort Welch, Truex's brigade 
being the left of the division. The brigade was formed in 
three lines of battle — the front line consisting of the Tenth 
Vermont, Lieut. Colonel Damon, (on the right) and the One 

' Killed, John Smith and Joseph A. Smith of company H. 


Hundred and Sixth New York ; the second of the Fourteenth 
New Jersey and One Hundred and Fifty-first New York ; and 
the third of the Eighty-seventh Penns3'lvania. Coffee was 
served to the troops at midnight, and as the moon went 
down, the regiments, in light marching order, filed outside 
the breastworks, and moved silently into position without 
attracting the attention of the enemy's pickets, 200 yards in 
front. The position of the Tenth was a short distance in 
rear of the entrenched picket line, and about half a mile to 
the left of that of the First Vermont brigade. The men lay 
shivering in the darkness for three hours. In the musketry 
firing which commenced before light on the part of the 
enemy, five or six men of the Tenth were wounded ; but all 
lay still as before. As the earliest streak of approaching 
daylight crept along the horizon, the parapets of a Confeder- 
ate earthwork became dimly visible a few hundred yards in 
front of them. At half-past four o'clock, upon the firing of 
the signal-gun from Fort I'isher, the men sprang up and 
started forward, took the fire of the rebel pickets, and, with- 
out replying, followed closely upon their heels through the 
openings in the abatis, and without waiting to re-form, 
rushed in a mass to the Confederate works. The Tenth, 
leading all the other troops in the division, struck squarely 
the front of a strong earthwork mounting six guns, with a 
deep ditch in front. The men leaped into the ditch, and 
while some climbed the parapet, others sprang over the 
breastworks on right and left. On the left of this work little 
opposition was met ; but on the right the Confederates stood 
their ground, met the intruders with a volley, and then 
fought with clubbed muskets, as with shouts of "Pile in, 
boys!" "don't give them time to load!" the Vermonters 
swarmed into the redoubt,' capturing there a number of pris- 

" A scar over the writer's eye from a clubbed musket in the hands of 
a stalwart rebel, certifies that the part we struck was not evacuated." — 
Statement of Sergeant O • E. Wait. 


oners, who were sent to the rear. The rest of the gar- 
rison fled toward a two-gun battery on the left of the work, 
followed by some shots from a field-piece Avhich some men 
of the Tenth had turned upon them. Soon the guns in the 
two-gun battery were trained upon the captured fort, and 
were making things warm in that vicinity, when a line of 
battle was formed by Colonel Damon, of men of the Tenth 
and other troops of the brigade, which, advancing inside the 
works, drove the artillerymen from the battery. After a short 
halt to reorganize and strengthen his battalion, Damon 
pushed on across a ravine and piece of swampy ground, 
against a stronger work still held in force by the enemy. 
The brigade captured this, taking 100 prisoners, the 
rest of its defenders taking shelter in some woods to the left 
of the fort, and outside of the line of works. From the edge 
of the woods they kept up a rattling musketry tire, by which, 
among other casualties, Adjutant Read received his fatal 
wound. Soon the enemy took the offensive in this quarter. 
Two strong bodies, of Wilcox's division, moving on both 
sides of their line of works, enveloped and re-took the fort ; 
and Truex's brigade, after suffering serious loss, fell back to 
the two-gun battery. Then one of the Sixth Corps batteries 
was brought forward and the Confederates were shelled out of 
the fort. Meantime, the brigade was reorganized, and to- 
gether with some regiments of General Keifer's brigade 
which had come up, advanced again down the line to the 
left, taking a four-gun battery, and proceeding till they met 
Harr,is's brigade of the Twenty-fourth Corps coming up from 
the left, inside the now wholly abandoned line of works. 

After a halt of lialf an hour to rest the men, the brig- 
ade countermarched with Keifer's brigade, and joined the 
rest of the Sixth Corps in the march towards Petersburg. 
Passing outside of the Confederate line of works, at a point 
a little north of where it entered in the early morning, 
the division moved back slowly with the advancing lines, till 


they halted within about two miles of the city. At four p. 
M. Truex's brigade was sent forward to occupy a line which 
had been held by the enemy's pickets in the morning, in 
front of their line between Fort Lee and the lead-works. 
Here, on the left of the Vaughn road, the men threw up a 
line of breastworks, and bivouacked for the night. Lieut. 
Colonel Damon says in his report : 

I am happy to be able to state that the Tenth Ver- 
mont was the first regiment in the division to plant a stand 
of colors within the enemy's works, — that it bravely per- 
formed its entire duty throughout the day, and kept up so 
perfect an organization as to elicit the highest commenda- 
tion of the brigade and division commanders. 

While I cannot speak in too high praise of the conduct 
of both officers and men, I desire to mention as deserving of 
especial consideration, Major Wyllys Lyman, who was 
among the first to enter the rebel works with the color- 
bearer, and performed the most efficient service during the 
day, using every exertion to keep the regiment together, and 
leading the men forward to their duty ; Adjutant James M. 
Read, who not only performed his own special duties with 
the utmost skill, but contributed materially to the success of 
the day, by fighting with great gallantry and courage, until 
he fell, wounded, at the extreme front ; and Corporal Ira F. 
Varney of compan}'^ K, color-bearer, who was first to plant his 
colors within the enemy's works, on our front, and through- 
out the day combined dash with coolness and steadiness, to 
a remarkable degree. 

The claim that the Tenth Vermont was the first regi- 
ment inside the works taken by the third division in the 
morning, is sustained by its brigade commander. Colonel 
Truex, who says in his report : " The first colors inside the 
works were those of the Tenth Vermont Volunteers, followed 
immediately by those of the One Hundred and Sixth New 
York and Fourteenth New Jersey. * * * I have every 
reason to be proud of the regiments composing my brigade, 
the Tenth Vermont, One Hundred and Sixth New York, 
Fourteenth New Jersey, Fifteenth New York and Eighty- 
seventh Pennsylvania, and of the coolness, judgment and 


gallantry of their commanding officers, Lieut, Colonel George 
B. Damon, Lieut. Colonel A. W. Briggs, Lieut. Colonel J. J. 
Janeway, Lieut. Colonel Charles Bogardus and Captain 
James Tearney." The one named first of these, we may be 
sure was not last in order of merit. 

Among the wounded on the 2d of April were Adjutant 
James M. Bead, who received a ball through the right in- 
step, and never rallied from the amputation which followed,' 

'James Marsh Read was the son of Hon. David Read, of Burlington, 
and nephew of Professor and President James Marsh of the University of 
Vermont. He graduated from that University, in the class of 1853, with high 
rank as a scholar and as an able writer. After leaving college he taught 
in Canton, Miss., and then was engaged for a time in the office of the New 
York Courier and Enquirer. When, in 1855, the second Government expe- 
dition across Texas and New Mexico, under General Pope, was organized, 
he was appointed chief of the barometrical and astronomical department of 
the expedition, and on its return assisted in preparing the report of the 
survey. Upon the first call for troops, Mr. Read enlisted in the First Ver- 
mont Regiment, and served in its ranks through its term of service. He 
re-enlisted in the Tenth, was appointed sergeant of company D ; and was 
detailed for duty in the office of the adjutant general of the Third division 
of the Sixth Corps. In June, 1864, he was commissioned as second lieu- 
tenant of company D, and returned to his regiment. On the wounding of 
Adjutant Lyman at Cedar Creek, Lieutenant Read was appointed acting 
adjutant, and having meantime bf en promoted to a first lieutenancy, he 
was, in February, 1865, on Adjutant Lyman's promotion, appointed adju- 
tant. He was in nearly all the engagements in which the regiment took 
part ; at the battle of the Opequon he had charge of a skirmish line ; at 
Cedar Creek he commanded the color companj^ and was the last man to 
withdraw when the regiment fell back in the morning, remaining, compass 
in hand, in order to note the direction of the movements of the euemy, till 
after all the rest had gone. He was struck in the leg by a spent ball, but 
remained with his company till the close of the battle. He distinguished 
himself in the final attack on the lines of Petersburg, though suffering at 
the time from a serious bowel trouble. After he was wounded he was 
taken into an army cabin in the third fort captured by the brigade, and 
when the fort was retaken, fell into the hands of the enemy, and during 
the short time that he was their prisoner, was robbed by them of his arms 
and money. His foot was amputated in the division field hospital. In the 
last letter he ever wrote, to his parents, he said : "I can give my foot in 
such a cause with good will." He was removed to the general hospital at 
City Point, and died there at midnight of the 5 h of April. His body was 
embalmed and sent to Burlington for burial. He was deeply mourned by 
his brother ofiicers and by the entire regiment. 


and Lieutenant James H. Thompson of company H. The 
regiment lost this day 42 men — one killed, 39 wounded, nine 
of whom died of wounds, and two missing.' 

Next morning at daylight the division marched through 
the evacuated works, and after a short halt started with the 
army in pursuit of Lee, and bivouacked that night near 
Sutherland Station. On the 6th, at Sailor's Creek, E well's 
and Anderson's corps, headed off by the cavalry, turned to 
fight the pursuing i fantry. Seymour's division was leading 
the advance of the Sixth Corps, and as soon as it could be 
formed, charged the enemy, who was posted on a crest a 
short distance north of the creek. In this assault Truex's 
brigade forded the creek under sharp fire ; drove the force 
in front of them from the crest and was pressing Ewell's left 
flank, when a flag of truce was displayed by the enemy, and 
Ewell's corps, with half of Anderson's, in all 6,000 men, laid 
down their arms. The personal surrender of General Ewell 
and his staff' was made to Colonel Truex. In this brilliant 
battle the Tenth Vermont did its last fighting. After the 
surrender of Lee on the 9th, the division moved to Burkes- 
ville, where it remained in camp until the 23d, when it 
marched with the Sixth Corps to Danville, V&. 

On the 16th of May, after the surrender of Johnston's 
army, the regiment returned b}' rail to Eichmond with the 
Sixth Corps, camped for a week at Manchester, and on the 
24th started for Washington, and arrived at Ball's Cross 
Eoads June 2d. Here the regiment participated in the re- 
view of the Vermont troops by Governor Smith, and in the 
review of the Sixth Corps by the President. On the 22d of 
June the original members of the regiment and the recruits 

' Killed, David Dwire of company K. 

The rank and file who died of their wounds were ; Sergeant Martin 
Honan and Ezekiel S. Waldron of company B, Peter Avery of company C, 
Joseph Riley of company D, Samuel D. Parker of company G, George A. 
Bucklin and Timothy B. Messer of company H, and Alanson J. Tinker of 
company K. 22 


whose term oi service would expire before October 1st — be- 
ing 23 officers and 451 men — were mustered out of the ser- 
vice of the United States. The remainder, comprising 13 
officers and 136 men, were transferred to the Fifth regiment, 
and were mustered out with that regiment on the 29th of 
June. The regiment, with the exception of 110 men on the 
sick list, started for home on the 23d, under command of 
Major Salsbury. Marching through Washington that day, 
the Tenth, with the One Hundred and Sixth New York, 
halted in front of the residence of General James B. Rick- 
etts, their old commander, and gave him nine rousing cheers. 
Arriving in New York the next evening, they were quartered 
at the Battery, and leaving there on the 25th, arrived at Bur- 
lington at two A. M. on the 27th. They found the people 
waiting in the rain and darkness to receive them. They 
were greeted with an artillery salute, and escorted to the 
City Hall, where George H. Bigelow, Esq., bade them wel- 
come. Major Salsbury briefly responded, and a supper was 
served by the ladies and citizens, whose courtesy was 
acknowledged by the customary cheering. Next morning 
they marched to the quarters at the hospital, where they 
were furloughed for six days. Then assembling for their final 
rendezvous, they were paid off by Major Wadleigh, and dis- 
persed to their homes. 

The officers mustered out in the last ten days in June, 
were : Colonel George B. Damon, Lieut. Colonel "Wyllys 
Lyman, Brevet Major John A. Salsbur}^ Surgeon Willard A. 
Child, Adjutant George P. Welch, Quartermaster Charles W. 
Wheeler; Captains H. H. Dewey, George E. Davis, L. A. 
Abbott, S. E. Perham, A. W. Chilton, William White, Daniel 
Foster, R. K. Tabor, H. G. Stiles, and James S. Thompson ; 
and Lieutenants S. H. Lewis, Jr., I. L. Powers, Almon In- 
gram, Samuel Greer, W. R. Hoyt, E. J. Stickney, Charles 
D. Bogue, A. H. Wheeler, E. Vinclette, Thomas H. White, 
Ezekiel T. Johnson, Darwin K. Gilson, Jerome Ayers, 


George P. Shedd, "Walter Graham, Albert N. Nye, Andrew 
J. Clogston, Henry H. Adams, George Churcli, and C. P. 
Hadlock. Chaplain John B. Perry, who joined the regiment 
in March, 1865, remained for a few days with the sick men, 
and was mustered out on the 7th of July. 

The promotions to higher rank in the army, or to posi- 
tions in the regular army, from the Tenth, were numerous. 
Lieut. Colonel Lyman and Major Merritt Barber received 
commissions in the regular army, the former as captain in 
the Fourth Infantry, and the latter as first lieutenant of the 
Thirtj'-fourth Infantry ; Quartermasters Valentine and Rey- 
nolds were promoted, the former to be captain and commis- 
sary of subsistence, and the latter to be captain and A. Q. M. 
of volunteers ; Assistant Surgeon Rutherford was promoted 
to be surgeon of the Seventeenth Vermont, and Assistant 
Surgeon Clark to be surgeon of the First Vermont Cavalry ; 
Captains Sheldon, Kingsley, and Steele were appointed cap- 
tains and commissaries of subsistence, U. S. Volunteers ; and 
Lieutenant Farr was promoted to be captain and A. Q. M. of 
Volunteers. One ofiicer and 16 of the rank and file received 
commissions in the U. S. colored regiments — a larger num- 
ber than from any other Vermont regiment except the Eighth. 

These were as follows : 

Name. Company. Appointed. 

Sergeant Moses W. Sawyer, 
Sergeant B. Franklin Quimby * 
Corporal Ira H. Evans, 
Lieut. George W. Burnell, 
Sergeant Charles M. Edgerton,t 
Corporal Ogden B. Read, 
Sergeant Edward H. Powell, 
Sergeant Levi H. Robinson, 
Corporal Albert Janes, 
Charles A. Powell, 
Sergeant Alpheus H. Cheney, 
Alonzo B. Whitney, t 

♦Died in prison at Danville, Va. fDied of disease. JDied of wounds 
received at Gregory's Farm, S. C. 


First lieiit. 43d U. S. C. T. 


Captain 30th U. S. C. T. 


Capt. and bvt. maj. 116th U.S.C.T. 


Captain 19th U. S. C. T. 


Second lieut. 25th U. S. C. T. 


Capt. and bvt. maj 39th U. S. C. T. 


Lieut-colonel 10th U. S. C. T. 


Second lieut. 119th U. S. C. T. 


Lieut-colonei 31st U. S. C. T. 


First lieut. 10th U. S. C. T. 


Major 41st U. S. T. 


Captain 26th U. S. T. 



Robert D. Winter, § 


Sergeant Frank B. Davis, 


Ezra S. Dean, 


Leander C. Leavens, 


Joseph N. Daggett, 



First lieut. 32d U. S. T. 
First lieut. 25th U. S. T. 
Adjutant 43d U. S. T. 
First lieut. 33d U. S. T. 
R. Q. M. 43d U. S. C. T. 

Of these, Sergeant E. H. Powell was appointed lieutenant 
colonel of tlie lOtli U. S. C. T., from tlie ranks, as the result of 
a competitive examination, and commanded his regiment with 
credit during a considerable portion of its term of service. 
Corporal Albert Janes reached the same rank by promotion. 

The battles in which the regiment took part were as fol- 
lows : 


Orange Grove, - . . . Nov. 27, 1863. 

Wilderness, - May 5 to 8, 1864. 

Spottsylvania, May 10 to 18, 1864. 

Tolopotomoy, May 31, 1864. 

Cold Harbor, - - - June 1 to 12, 1864. 

Weldon Railroad, June 22 and 28, 1864. 

Monocacy, -.- July 9, 1864. 

Winchester, - - Sept. 19, 1864, 

Fisher's Hill, Sept. 21 and 22, 1864. 

Cedar Creek, . - - - Oct. 19, 1864. 

Petersburg, March 25, 1865. 

Petersburg, ..--..-.- April 2, 1865. 

Sailor's Creek, April 6, 1865. 

The final statement of the regiment is as follows : 
Original members — com. officers, 38; enlisted men, 977; total 1015 


Becruits, 286 ; transfers from other regiments, 3 ; total 289 

Aggregate 1304 


Killed in action— com. officers,?; enlisted men, 76 ; total 83 

Died of wounds — com. officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 56 ; total 58 

Died of disease — enlisted men 153 

Died (un wounded) in Confederate prisons, 36 ; from accident, 2 ; total 38 

Total of deaths 332 

§Died of wounds in action at Honey Hill, S. C. 


Honorably discharged — com. officers, resigned, 13; for wounds and 
disability, 10 ; — enlisted men, for wounds, 70 ; for disability, 131 ; 
total 224 

Dishonorably discharged — com. officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 2 ; total 4 

Total discharged 228 

Promoted to U. S. A. and other regimeuts^officers, 10 , enlisted men, 

20 ; total 30 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, signal service, regular army, 

etc 99 

Deserted, G6 ; unaccounted for, 3 ; total 69- 

Mustered out — com. officers, 37 ; enlisted men, 509 ; total 5i6 

Aggregate 1304 

Total wounded 356 



Organization— Rendezvous at Brattleboro— Departure for the War— Duty 
in Defences of Washington— Changed to a Heavy Artillery Regiment 
— Easy Service in the Forts— Joins the Sixth Corps — Spottsylvania — 
Cold Harbor — Petersburg— Weldon Railroad— Prison Experiences and 
Escapes— Tragic Death of Lieutenant Parker— Early's Raid— The 
Shenandoah Campaign — Charlestovra, Va. — The Case of Lieutenant 
Bedell— Opequon and Fisher's Hill — Cedar Creek — Return to Peters- 
burg — Final Assault on the Lines of Petersburg — Muster Out and 
Return Home — List of Men who died in Prison — Final Statement. 

The Eleventh regiment was the largest regiment sent xo 
the war by Vermont, both in its original membership and 
final aggregate, and no better regiment entered the service. 
It was recruited simultaneously with the Tenth, in response 
to the call of July 1st, 1862, for 300,000 volunteers. On the 
9th of July, 1862, two days after the order to recruit the 
Tenth regiment. Governor Holbrook issued his orders for the 
Eleventh, and recruiting officers were appointed as follows : 
At St. Johnsbury, George E. Chamberlin ; Shoreham, Charles 
Hunsdon ; Fair Haven, James T. Hyde ; Hyde Park, Charles 
Dutton ; Brattleboro, John Hunt ; Irasburgh, James Eice ; 
Bellows Falls, Charles Buxton ; Royalton, B. B. Chamber- 
lin ; Worcester, Bobinson Templeton ; Alburgli, William W. 

Becruiting was pressed vigorously, under urgent re- 
quests for troops from the Secretary of War, and between the 
12th and 15th of August ten companies organized for the 
Eleventh, and repaired to the rendezvous at Brattleboro, 
where the companies for the Tenth assembled the same day. 

The regimental line was as follows: Company A, St. 
Johnsbury, Captain E. J. Morrill; company B, Shoreham, 
Captain Charles Hunsdon ; company C, Fair Haven, Captain 


James T. Hyde ; company D, Hyde Park, Captain Urban A. 
Woodbury; company E, Brattleboro, Captain John Hunt; 
company F, Irasburgli, Captain James Eice; company G, 
Bellows Falls, Captain Charles Buxton ; company H, Koyal- 
ton, Captain James D. Rich ; company I, Worcester, Captain 
Robinson Templeton ; company K, Alburgh, Captain George 
D. Sowles. 

The regiment was fortunate in its field-officers. For the 
colonelcy Governor Holbrook selected a young Yermonter 
in the regular army, Lieutenant James M. Warner. He 
was a son of Hon. Joseph Warner of Middlebury, and a 
grandson of the late Judge Ezra Meech of Shelburn. He 
graduated at West Point in the class of 1860, and was bre- 
vetted second lieutenant in the Tenth U. S. infantry. At 
the outbreak of the civil war he was post quartermaster at 
Fort Wise, Colorado, under Colonel (afterwards General) 
John Sedgwdck, who held a high opinion of him. He soon 
after participated in the capture of a detachment of south- 
erners, who were making their way from the mining regions 
to Arkansas, to join the Confederate army. He had been 
subsequently in command of the post at Fort Wise; had 
attracted attention as an officer of high promise ; had been 
promoted to a first lieutenantcy in the Eighth U. S. infantry, 
and was reluctantly relieved from the regular army by Major 
General Halleck, in order to accept the command of a Ver- 
mont regiment. He was 26 years old, brave, modest, sol- 
dierly and equal to every position in which he was placed. 
The lieutenant colonel was Reuben C. Benton of Hyde Park. 
He was a graduate of the University of Vermont, and a 
rising lawyer of the Lamoille county bar when he enlisted. 
He had seen a year's active service as captain of company 
D of the Fifth regiment, and fought with it at Savage's 
Station. He was a man of strong will, marked abihty and 
recognized bravery. The major, George E. Chamberlin, was 
a man of liberal education, of fine ability and high spirit, and 


a lawyer by profession. He was without military experience, 
but rapidly mastered the duties of his position. 

Tlie staff was composed of competent men, as follows: 

Adjutant— Hunt W. Burrows, Vernon. 

Quartermaster — Alfred L. Carlton, Montpelier. 

Surgeon — Charles W. B. Kidder, Vergennes. 

Assistant Surgeons — Dr. John J. Meigs, Hyde Park- Dr. Edward O. 
Porter, Cornwall. 

Chaplain — Rev. William E. Bogart, a Wesleyan Methodist clergyman, 
of Weybridge. 

The camp at Brattleboro was named " Camp Bradley," 
after the Hon. William C. Bradley, and that distinguished 
and venerable Vermonter, then in his 81st j^ear, acknowledged 
the honor so done him in the following characteristic letter ; 

Brattleboro, Aug. 16, 1862. 
Major R. G. Benton, Commanding Elefoenth Vermont Volunteers: 

Deak Sir: I have received at your hands the certificate of baptism of 
the camp of the Eleventh Regiment, — a favorite number — and beg, through 
you, to express my sense of the honor done me. Although always incapa- 
citated from taking any part in the military service of my country by my 
infirmity, and although this is not the time to cherish mere State pride, 
yet I cannot forget that in my childhood the fame which the Green Moun- 
tain boys had established in the Revolutionary war, then barely closed, 
was ringing in my ears; as were afterwards the praises of their vigilance, 
coolness and courage, under Boyd in the battle of Tippecanoe, which saved 
General Harrison certainly from surprise, and probably from defeat. And 
then, in the last war with Great Britain, their exploits on the Niagara fron- 
tier I have often heard readily acknowledged by Lieut. General Scott ; not 
forgetting the battle of Chepultepec, where they were the first to enter the 
breach, and would have had their full credit but for the fall of the gallant 
Ransom. With such antecedents, let me hope, nay, feel assured, that 
when the troops pass out of your camp into tlie scenes of conflict, the old 
glory will go with them and cheer them on to victory. 

I have the honor to be your very humble servant, 


The regiment was armed with Austrian muskets, and 
after >a stay at Camp Bradley of three weeks, spent in acquir- 
ing some familiarity with military duties, in which the larger 
portion of both officers and men were novices, the regiment 
departed for the field. It left Brattleboro on Sunday morn- 
ing, September 7th, and had the usual experiences on the 
journey down the Connecticut valley. At New Haven it 
took the steamer Continental to Jersey City. At Philadel- 
phia, it had water, clean towels, a generous meal and all the 


peaches the men could eat. Then came a tedious ride in 
freight cars, breakfast at Baltimore, and final arrival at Wash- 
ington in the evening of the 9th. The regiment spent that 
night in barracks near the Capitol, and next morning marched 
out to Capitol Hill, to the Camp of Instruction under com- 
mand of Gen. Silas Casey. 

Lee's army was then in Maryland ; Gen. Banks had been 
assigned to the command of the fortifications around Wash- 
ington, and McClellan with the Army of the Potomac was 
marching to Antietam. 

The men were staking out a camp, when the regiment 
was ordered out to Fort Lincoln, at the eastern extremity of 
the chain of forts which constituted the northern defenses of 
Washington, where the Eleventh was brigaded with the One 
Hundred and Twelfth Pennsylvania, a well drilled and well 
officered heavy artillery regiment, under command of Colonel 
Gibson, of the latter regiment. Here the men were set at 
work on the rifle pits and fortifications, and received some 
rations as soon as the quartermaster could induce the 
untrained mules, furnished for his teams, to haul the wagons. 

On the evening of Sunday, the 14th, the firing at 
Crampton's Gap was distinctly heard at Fort Lincoln, and 
when three or four days later the news came of the result at 
Antietam, orders to join in the pursiiit of the retreating 
enemy were momentarily expected ; but this hope was 

On the 27tli of September the regiment was divided into 
detachments and distributed among the forts in the north- 
ern line of defences, as follows : Companies A and G at 
Fort Lincoln, where Colonel Warner established his regi- 
mental headquarters for a time ; company I at Fort Thayer, 
the next fort to the west ; companies C and D at Fort Sar- 
atoga ; company F at Fort Bunker Hill ; companies E and 
K at Fort Totten ; company H at Fort Slocum, and com- 
pany B, after three or four days spent in guarding Benning's 


Bridge across tlie eastern brancli of tlie Potomac, was sta- 
tioned at Fort Massachusetts, six miles west of Fort Lincoln. 
Detacliments of the One Hundred and Twelfth Pennsylvania 
were also stationed in these forts. In addition to the usual in- 
fantry drill the regiment soon began heavy artillery drill, 
and had more or less of fatigue duty, helping to reconstruct 
the forts, to dig the rifle-pits which connected them, and to 
build a road from Fort Massachusetts to Chain Bridge. A 
picket guard was kept out, for practice chiefly ; and the 
men rapidly acquired proficiency in military duty. 

The regiment was soon partially consolidated, and on 
the 17th of November was stationed for the winter in the 
three forts due north of Washington, companies E, F, G and 
H being stationed in Fort Slocum, where the regimental 
headquarters were established ; companies B, C, D and I at 
Fort Massachusetts, under Lieut. Colonel Benton, and com- 
panies A and K at Fort Totten, under Major Chamberlin. 
These were large and strong forts, mounting from 10 to 25 
guns apiece. Fort Massachusetts, afterwards called Fort 
Stevens, was at the village of Brightwood, four miles from 
Washington on the Seventh Street Road — one of the most 
important thoroughfares leading to the city. Fort Totten 
was a mile or two north of the Soldiers' Home, near Eock 
Creek church. Fort Slocum lay between the other two. The 
Pennsylvania regiment was at this time moved to the forts on 
the right, leaving the Vermonters sole occupants of the three 
forts named. The men built log barracks (one for each com- 
pany), and made themselves very comfortable. 

The Government at this time was in especial need of 
heavy artillery to garrison the forts ; and a willingness on the 
part of the regiment to be changed from infantry to heavy 
artillery having been signified to the War Department, by 
order of the Secretary of War, December 10th, 1862, the 
regiment was made a heavy artillery regiment, its official 
designation being " First Artillery, Eleventh Vermont Vol- 


unteers," with authority to increase its numbers to twelve 
companies of 150 men each, with three majors and four lieu- 
tenants to a company. It was, however, a number of months 
before the regiment reached its standard limit. On the 1st 
of January, 1863, it had an aggregate of 964 men, with 798 
for duty and 157 on the sick list. Jaundice and fevers pre- 
vailed during the latter part of the winter, but the health of 
the regiment improved as the spring opened, and by the 1st 
of May the sick list had been reduced to 128, out of an 
aggregate of 906. 

On the 11th of April orders came to be ready to march 
on the 13th with three days' cooked rations, which the men 
took to mean a change to more active service. Marching 
orders, however, did not come till the 20th, Avhen the de- 
tachments were collected and the regiment marched about 
four miles to Cliffburne Barracks, in the outskirts of Wash- 
ington, whither it was sent to do patrol duty in the city. 
The order was countermanded in a day or two, and after two 
nights in the filthy barracks assigned to them the men gladly 
returned to their former posts. 

During the critical summer of 1863, while the First and 
Second brigades and cavalry were marching and fighting in 
the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns, the Eleventh 
remained in the forts, strengthening the works, building 
batteries and covered ways, and laying abatis. Fort Slocum 
— an immensely strong fort — was principally built by the 
regiment. All the forts were kept in perfect order. Colonel 
Warner, though detached at times to command a brigade of 
the troops in the forts and for court-martial duty, made 
himself felt everywhere in the promotion of thorough dis- 
cipline. He was efficiently seconded by the other officers, 
who showed their appreciation of his efforts by the presenta- 
tion to him, on the 14th of April, of a handsome sword, and 
all became justly proud of their conceded standing as the 
best disciplined regiment in the defences of Washington. 


The presence of Lee's army in Maryland, in June, gave 
a special impulse to artillery drill and target practice with 
the rifled parrots and heavier guns, and a map of the ground 
around the forts, with distances determined by careful trian- 
gulations, was made by the officers, which enabled the artil- 
lerists to command every point with remarkable accuracy. 
Had the battle of Gettysburg resulted diflferently, an oppor- 
tunity would probably have been afi'orded to put these pre- 
cautions to practical lase ; and at one time during that 
campaign, there seemed to be imminent probability that the 
efficiency of the defenses of Washington would be tested. 
The sound of the field artillery in the skirmish at Upper- 
ville between Pleasonton's and Stuart's cavalry, on the 
21st, was plainly heard in the forts. On the 24th of 
June some of the enemy made their appearance as near as 
Rockville, Md., and an infantry brigade was hurried out to 
the forts, and the garrisons were on duty all night. The 
smoke of a wagon train, burned by the enemy's cavalry 
at this time, was plainly visible from Fort Stevens, and that 
Stuart intended, if he could, to run the line of defenses, 
under the spur, and sack Washington, was fully believed 
by many ; but if so, he abandoned his purpose when he found 
how strongly Washington was defended and hurried on to 
the north to join Lee in Pennsylvania. 

The regiment remained in excellenr condition through 
the summer. On the 11th of July, the eleventh company, 
company L, Captain D. J. Safford, was mustered in at 
Brattleboro, and joined the regiment five or six weeks later. 

In September the regiment received in exchange for 
its Austrian muskets new Springfield rifles, obtained by 
special order of President Lincoln, upon the request of 
Governor Holbrook, backed by Senator Foot. The men 
were glad to get arms which corresponded with their other- 
wise superior equipment. 

On the 7th of October, the twelfth company, company 


M, Captain Charles K. Fleming, was organized and mustered 
in at Brattleboro, and joined the regiment soon after. The 
other companies were filled bj additions of recruits ; and the 
regiment began the year 1864 with almost its full comple- 
ment, having 1,728 officers and men, which was further 
increased in February to an aggregate of 1,835 — the largest 
number in the history of the Eleventh. The regiment being 
now entitled to three majors, Captains Hunsdon of company 
B and Fleming of company M were promoted to that rank, 
and the number of line officers was increased by the addition 
of two lieutenants to each company. Surgeon Kidder re- 
signed in September and was succeeded by Dr. Castanus B. 
Park of Grafton, who was commissioned October 3d. He 
had been the surgeon of the Sixteenth Vermont, and was 
one of the best surgeons in the service. Chaplain Bogart, 
who resigned in November, was succeeded about this time by 
Eev. Arthur Little, a Congregational minister of Lvidlow, 
afterwards an eminent clergyman in Chicago. Quarter- 
master Carlton was promoted Captain and A. Q. M. in 
March, '63, and Lieutenant Charles W. Clark, of Montpelier, 
took his place as Quartermaster. Adjutant Burroughs was 
promoted to be Captain of company M, and Lieutenant 
Anson, company E, was detailed from the line as Adjutant. 

The red stripe and chevrons of the Artillery branch of 
the service were now adopted. The companies were desig- 
nated as batteries — "Battery A," "Battery C," etc., and an 
artillery flag, bearing crossed cannons on a yellow field, was 
added to the other colors borne by the regiment. 

The barracks built the year before being now inadequate 
for the accommodation of the enlarged companies, new 
wooden barracks, each 100 feet long, were built, some of them 
inside the forts, and a new hospital building was erected, 
which in size and convenience compared well with some of 
the general hospitals in the vicinity of Washington. The 
officers' quarters were improved, and the regiment settled 


down for the winter in as wholesome and comfortable quar- 
ters as were ever possessed by an}^ regiment in the army. 
The completion of the new barracks was celebrated by a 
series of balls and parties given by the officers at the different 
forts, to the success of which a newly organized regimental 
band added not a little. Occasional horse-trots at a race- 
course about half a mile from Fort Stevens, furnished amuse- 
ment to the troops and attracted many spectators from the 
city. The command was in an excellent condition of health ; 
rations were abundant, and many luxuries obtainable ; the 
wives of a number of the officers graced the camp with their 
presence ; and altogether the regiment was at the summit of 
military comfort during the winter of 1863-4. Strict disci- 
pline was, however, maintained ; infantry and artillery drill 
was constantly kept up, often under the personal supervision 
of Lieut. Colonel Jos. A. Haskin, Third U. S. Artillery, who 
had charge of the northern defenses of Washington ; and in 
the reviews and inspections of the different regiments in the 
vicinit}-, which took place every week, the First Vermont 
Heavy Artillery took no second place in any respect. 

The opening spring brought indications that this period 
of comfort and comparative ease might not lasc forever„ In 
March, 1864, upon General Grant's assumption of the com- 
mand of the Army, and under his preparations for the over- 
land campaign, some o± the other regiments of heavy artillery 
in the forts about Washington were ordered to the front, and ■ 
the remaining regiments were extended to fill their places in 
the fortifications. In the new distribution of the troops, 
Batteries A and L, under Major Chamberlin, were stationed 
at Fort Lincoln; F, Captain Rice, at Fort Tha3'er; D, Cap- 
tain Walker, at Fort Saratoga ; M and H at Fort Bunker 
Hill, under Major Fleming ; A and K at Fort Totten, under 
Major Hunsdon ; G and E at Fort Slocum, and C and I at 
Fort Stevens — the four last named being under command of 
Lieut. Colonel Benton. Colonel Warner had general com- 


mand of the defences for seven miles along the north of 
AVashington, with his headquarters at Fort Bunker Hill. 
The various detachments occupied the ample quarters pro- 
vided for the other regiments, until the need of troops to 
supply the terrible losses in the battles of the Wilderness 
called the Eleventh to the front. 

On the lOtli of May, Colonel Warner was relieved of his 
larger command and ordered to take his regiment to the 
front. The Eleventh, upon the personal application of Gen- 
eral John Sedgwick, commanding the Sixth Corps, had been 
assigned to that corps, and Colonel Warner's orders were to 
proceed bj the way of Belle Plain and report to General 
Sedgwick. The order was speedily made known and its full 
purport was at once understood. All knew that it meant an 
exchange of a life of comparative ease and safety for hard 
marching and bloody fighting. It meant weariness, exposure 
and peril for all, and wounds, imprisonment and death for 
not a few. It meant, moreover, as they soon learned, that 
they were to join the " old Vermont brigade," where their 
conduct would be compared with that of those veteran 
fighters. Had it been a mere parade by the side of any 
other Vermont regiment, old or new, to which they were 
invited, they would have welcomed the test, for they knew 
that they needed not to ask odds of any other organization 
in the army as regarded appointments, drill, discipline and 
appearance. But to do their first fighting under the eyes of 
the men who had won for the First Vermont brigade 
the high fame of being the best fighting brigade of the Sixth 
Corps, was a much severer ordeal. The spirit in which it was 
welcomed was a splendid proof of the genuine high quality 
of the regiment. Its year and a half of soft life in the 
forts had not weakened the morale of the command. They 
knew that they were needed at the front ; they had perfect 
confidence in their colonel ; and they obeyed the summons 
with absolute cheerfulness. 


The detachments received their marching orders in the 
evening of the 11th of May, and spent the night in prepara- 
tions to march. The personal property which had accumu- 
lated during a stay of so many months in one place, was 
hastily packed for transportation to the North. The ord- 
nance stores and other government property were inventoried 
and turned over to the proper officers. The officers' wives 
and the wives of privates employed as laundresses about the 
forts Avere sent home. The knapsacks were reduced to 
marching dimensions; shelter tents and six days' rations 
were drawn, and at half-past five o'clock in the morning of 
the 12th, the regiment assembled at Fort Bunker Hill, 1,550 
strong, and marched to Washington, forming a column which 
was taken for that of a brigade. The transports were wait- 
ing, and by ten o'clock the regiment was on its way down 
the Potomac. It disembarked at Belle Plain about five 
o'clock P. M., and camped on a side hill in a pouring rain, 
which penetrated the scanty shelter tents and soaked the 
ground beneath them ; while the constant arrivals during the 
night of trains filled with wounded from the Wilderness, gave 
to the dullest mind a keen realization of the stern realities 
of war. 

The next day the regiment marched seventeen miles to 
Fredericksburg, meeting on the way a column of 3,000 Con- 
federate prisoners captured by Hancock in the salient at 
Spottsjdvania the day before. Bivouacking that night on the 
north bank of the Bappahannock. the regiment moved next 
day in rain and mud for fifteen miles through the forests of 
the Wilderness, meeting all along the road the long trains of 
wagons and ambulancesS filled with wounded, and getting the 
full effect of that most disheartening of sights — the rear of 
an army after heavy fighting in front. That night the regi- 
ment reported at the headquarters of the Sixth Army Coi*ps, 
then commanded by General Wright, General Sedgwick 
having been killed, and was assigned to the Vermont brigade 


— the Second brigade of the Second division — and in the 
morning of the 15th moved up to the left of the brigade, 
which then held the extreme left of the Army of the Potomac, 
in front of Spottsylvania Court House. The march from 
Belle Plain, though a hard one for troops unused to march- 
ing, had been made with surprising spirit. There was almost 
no straggling on the march, and when the regiment reached 
the brigade, it had very nearly 1,500 men in line. Its arrival 
more than doubled the strength of the brigade, the five older 
regiments of which could muster scarce 1,200 bayonets after 
the fights on the Orange Plank and Brock roads and at the 
"bloody angle." The regiment was now divided into three 
battalions, each of which was manoeuvred as a regiment, and 
each of which largely exceeded in number any of the older 
regiments of the brigade. 

The First battalion was commanded by Lieut. Colonel 
Benton, and comprised batteries F, Captain Bice ; L, Captain 
Safford ; K, Captain Sowles ; and H, Captain Eldredge. 

The Second battalion was commanded by Major Cliam- 
berlin, and consisted of batteries E, Captain Sears ; C, Cap- 
tain Goodrich; D, Captain Walker; and M, Captain Bur- 

The Third battalion was commanded by Major Hunsdon, 
and comprised batteries A, Captain Morrill ; B, Captain Lee ; 
I, Captain Temple ton ; and G, Captain Buxton. 

The main facts of the record of the regiment from this 
time on have already been given in the history of the First 
Brigade. Some details remain to be added. On the 16th, 
Major Hunsdon's battalion was detached for a while to support 
a battery ; but was not engaged. On the 17th, a painful 
accident cost the regiment several men. Private John L. 
Patterson, of Company G, had picked up an unexploded 
shell, and was handling it by the side of a camp-fire with a 
degree of carelessness which drew a warning from one of his 
comrades. A slighting reply had hardly left Patterson's lips, 



wlicu the shell exploded, fatally wounding him and James W. 
Darling of the same company', and injuring several others. 

The first experience of the regiment under serious fire 
was at Spottsylvania on the 18tli of May. After a tedious 
night march, with the brigade, it was deployed in the breast- 
works of the famous salient, about five o'clock in the morning, 
to support the assault upon Lee's line across the base of the 
salient. The regiment was thence sent forward half a mile 
to the base of a low crest, where it came under a sharp fire of 
shell and canister and suffered its first loss in action, hj the 
wounding of Nathaniel S. Rogers of company M, who was 
struck by a piece of a shell, which took off part of the calf 
of his leg. Near here, soon after, Colonel Warner was 
wounded, being the sixth regimental commander in the First 
Yermont brigade to be wounded or killed since the army 
crossed the Kapidan. He was standing at the time on the 
top of a rifle-pit, directing a movement of the Third battalion 
of the Eleventh, when a bullet from the rifle of a Confederate 
sharpshooter, posted in a tree top, entered his neck, and 
passed out under his right ear. He returned to the front 
after the wound was dressed, and remained with the regiment 
till night. Next day, under the urgent advice of the surgeons, 
Colonel Warner went to Washington, and thence to his home 
in Middlebury. In his absence the command of the regiment 
devolved upon Lieut. Colonel Benton, Majors Chamberlin, 
Hunsdon and Fleming commanding the respective battalions. 

In the action of the 21st, described in pages 454 and 455 
of Yol. I, two men were killed, the first of the regiment to be 
killed in action. These were Corporal George O. Stevens and 
Joseph Larock, of company D. In all, at Spottsylvania, the 
regiment lost two men killed and fourteen wounded, one of 
whom, John Rudd, of company L, died of his wounds. Here 
also Lieutenant N. N. Glazier lost an arm by a piece of a 
shell. The regiment did no firing this day ; but was highly 
complimented for its steadiness under fire. 


In the movement of the Sixth Corps to the North Anna, 
on the 23d, the men of the Eleventh, not yet enured to 
marching, found the pace exhausting and some 200 men fell 
out on the way ; but all came in that night or next morning. 

On the 25th, having moved to the Virginia Central rail- 
road, near Gordonsville, the regiment lay in line of battle all 
the afternoon, and there was sharp tiring on the skirmish 
line. In the evening of the 26th, the regiment started again 
and marched all night in deep mud, to Chesterfield Station. 
Next day gave the men another tiresome march, with the 
corps, along the North Anna and Pamunkey rivers. Starting 
at daylight next morning they crossed the Pamunkey and lay 
near Hanovertown the next day and night. Moving thence, 
with the brigade and corps, to Cold Harbor, in the afternoon 
of June 1st, the Eleventh went into action with the brigade, 
losing five officers and 114 men (most of them from the First 
battalion) killed and wounded. The officers wounded were 
Captain George D. Sowles, company K ; Lieutenants Edwin 
B. Smith, company A, and John H. Macomber, Stephen R. 
Wilson (fatally) and John S. Drenan, company L, Lieutenant 
Dustan J. Walbridge, company A, was wounded on the 8d, 
and died of his wounds several weeks later. 

At Cold Harbor, from the 31st of May to the 4th of June, 
the regiment lost fifteen enlisted men killed, and six officers 
and 115 enlisted men wounded. Of the enlisted men 
wounded 17 died of their wounds.' 

' The killed were : Company C, Charles B. Chase ; company E, James 
R. Dickinson ; company F, Corporal Almon V. Priest, George A. Heath, 
Edwin M. Markress, Horace Sulliam and Ferdinand Wheeler ; company 
I, Jeremiah Kelley ; company K, John S. Heald, "William Williams, John 
Forsaith and Luther A. Smith ; company L, Homer C. Davis, Stillman E. 
Green and Curtis E. Pike. 

The following died of their wounds : Company E, Florence Driscol, 
Elisha H, Jaqueth, Daniel G. Ormsbee and Leonard C. Park ; company F, 
Corporal Albert Howard and Edwin E. Dewey ; company H, Henry K. 
White; company K, William H. Bell, Orlando Macomber and Elam H. 
White; company L, Corporal Ozro P. Stone, James H. Bickford, Joseph 
Lounge, John S. Mason, Daniel J. Stevens and Edward Storey. 

Henry M. Corlew and Daniel Higgins, of company G, each lost a leg, 
by the same shell. 


Major Fleming, Captains Rice, Sowles, Eldredge and 
Safford, and Lieutenants Macomber and Chase, are men- 
tioned by Lieut. Colonel Benton in his report as conspicuous 
for gallantry and good conduct at Cold Harbor. Captain 
Walker and Lieutenant Baxter are also mentioned as deserv- 
ing of special credit for their conduct on the skirmish line on 
the 20th of May. The services of Major Chamberlin, Adju- 
tant Anson, Lieutenants Todd and Foster and Sergeant Major 
Gould, acting on Colonel Benton's staff, are also acknowledged 
by him. 

Between the 4th and 10th of June, at Cold Harbor, the 
regiment lost three men killed and 17 wounded, eight of 
whom died of their wounds. ' In the first four weeks of its 
service in the field, the regiment thus lost 175 oflicers and 
men, of whom 20 were killed and 155 wounded, many receiv- 
ing wounds which proved fatal. On the 10th of June Lieut. 
Colonel Benton went into hospital, and on the 21st resigned, 
in a debilitated condition from chronic diarrhoea. In his 
departure the regiment lost a resolute and capable officer. 
On the 12tli of June Colonel Seaver of the Third regiment 
was assigned to the temporary command of the Eleventh. 
The regiment was in the front line of works that day, and lost 
two men killed* and three wounded. 

The regiment marched twenty-five miles on the 13th 
with the brigade, in the march of the army to the James 
Ptiver, crossing the Chickahominy at Jones's Bridge. The 
next day it started at three a. m., and marched to Charles 
City Court House ; and next day lay in line at Turkey Bend, 
to cover the troops crossing the river. 

^ Killed, Sergeant Joseph W. Hutchinson, Lester J. Lawrence and Asa 

Died of their wounds : Company B, Henry J. Porter and Henry H. 
Porter, Jr.; company C, Albert W. Perry; company F, Rodney M. Bout- 
well ; company I, John B. Kusic ; company M, Ralph Lull, Harvey 
Hackett and John R. Wadleigh. 

' Killed, company E, Eli R. Hosford ; company G, Ora Howe. 


On the 17th, it crossed the James River with the brigade 
and division, and that night and the next day moved to the 
front of Petersburg, by a hard march of twenty-five miles. 

On the 18th, Colonel Seaver was relieved from the com- 
mand of the Eleventh and rejoined his own regiment, and 
the command of the Eleventh devolved upon Major Cham- 
berlin, the battalion commanders thenceforth being Major 
Hunsdon, Major Fleming and Captain Walker, who was soon 
promoted to be major. 

The regiment lay in trenches under fire in front of 
Petersburg for three days, and had three men wounded by 
the enemy's sharpshooters. One of these, Abel Hinds, Jr., of 
company M, died soon after of his wounds, 


The main features of the saddest day in the history of 
the regiment, a day black wdth misfortune but not with dis- 
honor, that of the 23d of June, 1864, have been sketched on 
previous pages.' Since they were written, much additional 
information concerning the affair has been received, and the 
interest and importance of the transaction warrant a more 
detailed narration. 

The Sixth Corps, it will be remembered, had been pushed 
out to the west, from the lines on the south of Petersburg, 
to cut the Weldon railroad. The railroad was first struck by 
a reconnoitring party under Captain Beattie of the Third 
Vermont, and a working party follow^ed to tear up and 
destroy the track. To guard them from surprise, a detach- 
ment of 200 men of the Eleventh was sent out at ten o'clock 
A. M. This consisted of company A, Captain Morrill, com- 
pany H, Captain Eldredge, and 25 men of company K, all 
under command of Captain Morrill. Captain Morrill reported 
to Lieut. Colonel S. E. Pingree Division Field-officer of 

1 Vol. I, pp 475-481. 


the day, and the detail was posted by the latter in a skirmish 
line extending from a point in front of the right of the main 
line of the Second division (which at that point ran nearly 
parallel with the railroad and a mile or more from it), out to 
and a little beyond the railroad. A picket detail from the 
Third division was to connect with Morrill's line and main- 
tain connection with the main body of the Sixth Corps, and 
did so connect for a time during the middle of the day, when 
it was -NNdthdrawn, leaving Morrill's line without any connec- 
tion on its right, Beattie's sharpshooters for a time picketed 
the front along the railroad. The Fourth Vermont regi- 
ment, under Major Pratt, its other field-officers being 
disabled by wounds or absent, was out on picket to the left 
and rear of Morrill and Beattie, where it had been sent the 
day before ; and some cavalry protected the front still further 
to the left. The skirmish line of the Eleventh had no direct 
connection with anything on its left, and during most of the 
day no connection on its right. During the forenoon clouds 
of dust, showing a movement of troops around to the west of 
the portion of the railroad which the pioneers were engaged 
in destroying, were seen and reported by Colonel Pingree to 
the Corps headquarters. General L. A. Grant was thereupon 
directed to support the advanced picket line with another de- 
tachment. He accordingly, about two o'clock P. m., sent out 
companies F and L and 50 men of company K, under com- 
mand of Major Fleming. This second detachment did not 
report to Colonel Pingree, but was taken out and posted by 
a division staff officer.' It was posted in a piece of open 
timber, extending along a low ridge, on the right of the 
pickets of the Fourth regiment. The men of Fleming's 
detachment entrenched themselves with newly cut rails, 
which had been found in piles on the ground, and with wood 
from wood-piles in the timber. 

' Captain Long of General Neill's staff, as Colonel Pingree thinks. 
General Wheaton was in command of the division, in General Neill's absence. 


The enemy, consisting of Mahone's division, (of A. P. 
Hill's coi"ps), comprising five brigades and numbering about 
6,000 muskets, drove oflf the pioneers who were destroying 
the track ; and a brigade ' deploying in front of and to the 
right of the advanced Union picket line, early in the after- 
noon, began to press the latter. What took place on the 
right is thus described by Captain Eldredge : 

We [companies A and H] were deployed as skirmishers, 
commencing with the left of my company, company A on my 
right, my left at the edge of some woods. Company A's right 
extended a short distance across the railroad. We were then 
faced about, which brought us facing Petersburg. The pio- 
neers were destroying the track in our rear. The orders I 
received from Colonel Pingree were to " hold our line to the 
last possible minute ; not to give an inch unless we were 
actually obliged to, and in case we were driven back, to fall 
back due south until we struck the Jerusalem Plank road."^ 
Colonel Pingree said the Third division skirmishers would 
advance and connect with my right. At about eleven a. m. 
they made the connection and stayed with us about one hour, 
and then had orders to fall back, and we saw no more of 
them. The pioneers fell back at about noon. Occasionally 
some horsemen would come out into the oat-field in our 
front, but would leave on being fired upon. At about twelve 
M. the enemy were discovered marching troops in our front 
and moving to our left. By one p. m. it was evident to all on 
the line that we had got to fall back or we would be captured. 
Company A had no connection at that time on its left, and 
cojnpany H none on its right, and there were no other troops 
in sight. I sent Corporal Leonard of my company to report 
our situation to Colonel Pingree. He was gone about one 
hour, and on his return reported that he could not find the 
colonel, but that Major Fleming, with two companies of our 
regiment, with a portion of the Fourth Vermont, were back 
in the woods, and that the major said, " Hold your line." At 
about two P. M. the enemy advanced upon company A and 
skirmished with them for about two hours, when the enemy 

' Posey's Mississippi Brigade. 

5 There would seem to be some mistake about this, on the part of some 
one, as the Jerusalem Plank road ran north and south, parallel with the 
railroad, and it would have been impossible to reach it by falling back due 


advanced in line of battle and drove tliem back into llie 
Avoods in their rear. After company A fell back the enemy- 
advanced a skirmish line upon my company, and after 
exchanging shots for about an hour, came upon us with a line 
of battle and drove us back into the woods, where Majors 
Fleming and Pratt had thrown up some breastworks of rails. 
The enemy were close upon us, and there was some sharp 
fighting for a few minutes. Then the enemy fell back. We 
remained in these works until it was getting quite dark, when 
a line advanced upon us from the rear, and ordered us to 
surrender. Some one called to them to "give us a few min- 
utes to consult," which was granted. 

The occurrences farther to the left are thus narrated by 
Captain Saftbrd, of company L, whose conduct this day, in 
charge of the skirmish line in that quarter, reflected high 
credit upon him. After premising that he was at the supply 
train drawing rations for his company when the battalion 
was ordered out to the skirmish line, and that as soon as he 
learned that it had been so sent he hurried out to the front 
after it, Captain Safi'ord says : 

After going some half or three-fourths of a mile I met 
the color guard which had been ordered back with the colors. 
About one hundred and fifty yards before I reached the line, 
I found Major Fleming in a hollow surrounded on three sides 
by some rails. I urged him to come on to the line, but he 
pleaded illness and did not go. Major Fleming's orders to 
me Avere : " Extend the line to the left till you connect with 
the Fourth Vermont, andhold the line at all hazards, reporting 
to me every half hour." I found the men busy covering 
themselves with rails, logs or whatever they could find. I 
extended the line until I made it as thin as I dared, but 
found no connection with any troops on the left. I did find 
a much stronger line, of the enemy, than our own, a short 
distance in front of us, and quite a brisk firing was kept up. 
I returned, leaving Lieutenant J. H. Macomber in charge of 
the left, and reported to Major Fleming, and about that time 
the Fourth Vermont, under Major Pratt, came up in our rear, 
instead of on the left of our line, and there remained so far 
as I am aware until the surrender. Finding that there 
was to be no connection on the left I then drew in the line 
somewhat, to strengthen it. About this time Captain Beattie 
came in from the front with the division sharpshooters. He 


said : " Captain, if 3'ou don't get out of this you will catch 
h — 1," adding that the enemy were in force in front. Soon after 
this I met Lieut. Colonel Pingree, division officer of the day, 
on or near the left of our line and reported the situation to 
him as near as I could and suggested that the line be drawn 
back nearer to supports ; he replied, " The orders are to hold 
the line at all hazards." I think previous to my seeing 
Colonel Pingree one attack had been made upon us and 
repulsed and a while after another was made, but the men 
being well covered, we suffered but little from either, while 
ourselves doing good execution. Soon after the second 
attack I became aware that a force was working around our 
left flank. This, and in fact all the events that transpired, was 
communicated to Major Fleming. The attacks on our line 
were made from three to four o'clock, p. m., soon after I saw 
the skirmishers of the Third division withdrawn from our 
right flank leaving us alone. Upon stating these facts to 
Major Fleming, and that we must retreat or be captured, he 
said he was ordered to hold that position and must be cap- 
tured rather than abandon it. At five o'clock p. M., our ammu- 
nition was almost exhausted, and we were covered by the 
enemy in front, on our left flank and partly in our left rear. 
The enemy then began to cover our right flank, and when at 
last, about sundown, the Major gave me permission to see if 
I could find a place where I could take the command out, I 
personally saw the circle completed and the enemy's left and 
right unite in rear of our right flank. 

Immediately after the events thus described, Fleming 
called the five company commanders together for a consul- 
tation. All but one agreed that escape was impossible and 
surrender inevitable. The exception was Captain Eldredge, 
who was a sturdy fighter, and a soldier of more experience 
than the others, having served a year in the Third Vermont 
before he received his commission in the Eleventh. He 
urged that as it now was nearly dark, it might be possible to 
slip out through the woods and escape. For his own part, 
having had a taste of imprisonment, after he w'as captured at 
Lee's Mill, he would rather take his chances in an effort to 
cut a way out, if necessary. He was overruled, however, 
and at about 8 o'clock p. m.. Majors Pratt and Fleming sur- 
rendered their commands. Fifty men of the Fourth slipped 


back through the woods from the left. Sergeant Soper and 
seven men of Company A, in like manner made their escape 
from the right, falling back through the woods, and finding no 
enemy at the spot where they went out. 

Opinions have diflfered as to whether the force which 
captured the Yermonters was in one or two bodies. Pin- 
gree and Eldredge believed that they were cut off by the 
body which came in from the left, and that no force of the 
enemy came in behind them from the right. On the other 
hand. General L. A. Grant says, in his report, that the enemy 
closed in from the right as well as the left. Adjutant Anson, 
in a report of the affair published soon after it in the Vermont 
papers, stated that the enemy pierced Morrill's line on the 
right ; and the positive statement of Captain Safford that he 
saw the enemy's left and right unite behind the right of the 
battalion, must be accepted in spite of the negative testimony 
of witnesses who can only testify that they did not see such 
a junction of troops from opposite directions — as well as in 
spite of the fact that Sergeant Soper's squad got out to the 
right, which may be accounted for upon the supposition that 
they escaped before the enemy's lines united, or that they 
lay for a while in the woods and got away after the enemy 
left, as the latter did at once after the surrender. 

No Confederate reports of this affair are to be found 

among the archives at Washington. General Mahone has, 

however, given to the writer of these pages the following 

clear account of the transaction from his point of view. In 
a letter dated at Petersburg, Va., Oct. 2d, 1887, he says : 

I remember distinctly the little affair to which you 
refer. When your people struck the Weldon Eoad, my 
division, consisting of five brigades, and at the time of about 
6,000 muskets, was ordered to the ground. 

When we came upon the field the small force of your 
army which had reached the railroad near the Yellow 
Tavern, as we called it, quickly retired into the woods. It 
was thought that your people were making a movement in 
force to effect a permanent extension of your lines, to and 


covering the railroad. My plan was to get on the flank of 
that force and attack it ; and while I pressed the Mississippi 
brigade into the woods, on what I supposed to be the possible 
head of your projecting column, with the other four brigades 
(if all my brigades were with me, and that is my recollection), 
I moved around what I took to be your left by the road 
[a cross-road leading from the Halifax road to the Jerusalem 
plank-road, past the Gurley house]. When I came upon the 
open ground surrounding the Gurley house, I met a skirmish 
line of your people in the skirt of woods. Night was coming 
on and I had not yet discovered anything more than a re- 
tiring skirmish line. Meanwhile, Captain Girardy of my 
staff had gone into the woods along a blind road [leading 
north from the Gurley house] and discovered a body of your 
people. He took the Florida brigade, about 500 men, and 
moved quickly upon the flank and rear of this body of troops, 
and captured it, consisting of some four hundred men and 
ofl&cers. The Mississippi brigade had doubtless conspired 
to facilitate the capture of the force, supposed to have been 
a regiment. Yours truly, 

Hon. G. G. Benedict Burlington, Vt. 

The above shows that General Mahone had a much 
larger force on the ground than has hitherto been supposed. 
It also supports the conclusion that while the commander of 
the Mississippi brigade advanced a line around the right of 
Fleming's battalion, the brigade which was chiefly instru- 
mental in eflecting his capture, came in from Fleming's left 
and rear. About a hundred men of the Eleventh must 
have slipped by, in one way or another, and made their 
escape. That a body of 400 good soldiers should have been 
allowed to be captured, not by a sudden dash of the enemy, 
but by the slow and gradual approaches of an immensely 
superior force, the process occupying several hours and being 
constantly reported to the corps commander, can only be 
characterized as an inexcusable blunder. The blame for 
it was pretty freely, but not always justly, distributed by 
the sufierers among the various officers responsibly con- 
nected with the transaction. No blame could attach to 


the men ; tbey held their ground with an obstinacy which 
led the enemy to suppose that there were twice or thrice 
as many of them as was the case.' The company com- 
manders simply obeyed their orders ; and so far as is 
known, the majors did the same. Major Fleming was es- 
pecially blamed by the men of his command and of the 
regiment for not withdrawing his battalion ; but General L. 
A. Grant attaches no blame to him, and says that he had pre- 
viously shown himself a gallant officer. There is no doubt as 
to what the orders were, and no doubt that under the circum- 
stances Major Fleming would have been justified in disobey- 
ing his orders." With greater experience it is likely he 
would have done so, and withdrawn his command, when it 
became plain that to stay meant capture. About four o'clock. 
Major Fleming sent Lieutenant Griswold, his battalion adju- 
tant, to report the situation to the division headquarters, 
and either get permission to withdraw or secure some 
strong reinforcements. In performing this duty. Lieuten- 
ant Griswold was captured by the Confederate skirmishers, 
who were at that time squarely in rear of Fleming's posi- 
tion. While being taken to the rear by his captors, Griswold 
passed two or three Confederate lines of battle, showing that 
it probably would have been impossible even then for Pratt 
and Fleming to withdraw. 

As for the officer of the day, Lieut. Colonel Pingree, it is 

'" Our captors expressed great surprise that there were not more cl 
us, saying they supposed we had 1,000 to 1,500. I remember one officer — 

I think it was Captain Simmons, of the Florida, who commanded our 

guard that night — saying tome: 'Well, captain, if we had known how 
few there were of you, we would have made shorter work of it.' The 
same officer told me that we were entirely surrounded at seven p. m." — 
Statement of Captain D. J. Safford. 

'^ " Why this small force was kept to the front did not appear clear 
then, and it does not now. If there was need of a force being kept out 
there, why it was not protected and cared for I never could understand. 
The corps commander [General Wright] afterwards told me that he did 
not understand the situation."— General L. A. Grant, 1867. 


certain that he made frequent reports of the condition of 
things along his Hne to the corps headquarters, and he was 
subsequently assured by Captain Holmes of General Wright's 
stuff, that no blame was attached to him at corps headquar- 
ters for the disaster. He barely escaped capture himself, by 
spurring his tired horse to a final effort, and running the 
gauntlet of the enemy's fire, as Mahone's lines closed in 
behind Pratt and Fleming. The great mistake of the day 
was the order, for which General Wright appears to have 
been responsible, directing the skirmishers to hold their posi- 
tion at all hazards. Such an order would have been justifi- 
able if the sacrifice of the skirmish line was necessary to the 
safety of the corps or division ; but that was not the case. 

There was also, during the same afternoon, a sharp skir- 
mish with a portion of Mahone's division on the extreme left 
of the line of the Sixth Corps, a mile or two to the south of 
the scene of the capture, in which a part of Captain Walker's 
battalion was engaged. The battalion had been sent out as 
a picket reserve the day before. The picket line which it 
supported covered the extreme left flank of the corps and of 
the army, here so refused that it faced to the south. The 
battalion was posted in a piece of clean pine timber, near a 
farm-house. In the morning of the 23d Walker sent out 140 
men to the picket line, under command of First Lieutenant 
Henry Chase of company E, a good officer, with whom were 
Lieutenants Sherman of company C, Bedell of company D, 
and O. E. Lee of company M. In the afternoon this line was 
advanced half a mile, when its left was uncovered by the 
failure of the skirmishers on the left of it to advance and 
make connection. The line was attacked soon after. The 
men, having piled rails for their protection, repulsed two 
attacks, and held their ground till they were flanked and had 
to withdraw in haste. Lieutenant Sherman was killed ' 

' Lieutenant Sherman was a young officer of high patriotism and prom- 
ise. He was a native of Danby, and was a member of the sophomore class 
in the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Conn., at the time of his enlist- 


instantly while trying to re-establisli the line, and Lieutenant 
Cliase was captured. Of the rank and file three were killed, 
13 wounded, and seven captured in this skirmish. The line 
was re-established a short distance farther back ; two regi- 
ments were hurried out to support it, and it was subsequently 
again advanced to its former position. 

The loss of the regiment this day was nine killed, 31 
wounded and 261 missing, a total of 301 — the heaviest aggre- 
gate of casualties ever sustained by any Vermont regiment in 
one action.' Among those made prisoners of war were one 
field officer of the Eleventh, Major Fleming, and 17 line ofl&- 
cers, as follows : Capi;ain Morrill and Lieutenant Richards, 
company A ; Lieutenant Parker, company B ; Lieutenant 
Chase, company E ; Lieutenants Matthews, Sargent, and 
Smith, company F ; Captain Eldredge and Lieutenants Mc- 
Wain and Hart, company H ; Lieutenants Morse, Sowles, 
and Fleury, company K ; and Captain Safiford and Lieuten- 
ants Macomber, Griswold, and Drenan, company L. 

The prisoners were taken to Petersburg that night and 

ment. While at home in the summer of 1862, he enlisted as a private in 
the Eleventh, saying that he thought it " a shame for a strong young man 
to be poring over Latin and Greek when his country needed him." His 
fine personal character, aptness and fidelity soon attracted attention, and 
he was promoted through the non-commissioned grades, to the second 
lieutenancy of his company. He was a thoioughly eflicient officer, so 
careful that, as one of his comrades said, " nobody ever expected a mis- 
take from Sherman," yet cool and gallant in action. Barely of age when he 
sealed his service with his blood, he left behind him the example of a life 
of Christian principle and true manhood. 

' The rank and file killed were : Company A, Charles B. Sewell, Jr., 
Eleazer F. Granger, Samuel W. Harden and Nathan Smith ; company C, 
Sergeant Peter Donnelly and George A. Dawson ; company E, George W. 
Colgrove and Merrill G. Hicks. 

Ten wounded men died of their wounds, as follows : Company A, 
Jonathan C. Burnham* Edward Cady and Patrick Howard : company C, 
George Kilbourne. James Carlisle. Francis M. Farwell, Calvin O. Foster, 
and William C. Hawkinb , company D, Oliver J. Spooner ; company F. 
Orrin 8. Hunt ; company H, Edgar H. Leonard. 

^Captured, and died in prison. 


next day were sent to Richmond. The subsequent experi- 
ences of some of the officers are noteworthy. They were con- 
fined in Libby Prison until the 30th of June, when they were 
sent by raikoad to Macon, Ga. After leaving Richmond, 
Captain Eldredge announced to several of his comrades his 
intention to attempt an escape and Captain Morrill agreed to 
accompany him. Each sat by an open window, and when 
about two miles beyond Appomattox station, on the Peters- 
burg and Lynchburg railroad, w^liile the train was running 
at ten or twelve miles an hour, at a prearranged signal they 
sprang out of the windows. Eldredge dropped instantly to 
the earth. Morrill, less fortunate, hung by his hands from 
the window-sill long enough for the guard posted on the 
platform to fire upon him, inflicting a mortal wound. The 
train swept on and left them. Eldredge assisted Morrill back 
to the station-house, and remained with him till the next 
morning, when, as he could do nothing more for him, he left 
him, in charge of the station-master and some negroes, in 
whose care he died that day. Exchanging his uniform 
with a negro for a suit of Confederate gray, Eldredge 
started for the north. Striking the James River about thirty 
miles below Lynchburg, he swam the stream, and going 
thence north-east crossed the battle ground of the cavalry 
fight at Trevillian Station three weeks previous, on which 
the dead still lay. Supplied with food and guided by the 
ever faithful blacks, he pushed on through the woods toward 
the north star. One day he was discovered while crossing a 
plantation by four armed men, who followed him for a mile, 
firing at him as they ran. But he outran his pursuers, and 
found refuge in a friendly wood. On the seventh day he 
reached the Potomac near Acquia Creek, having travelled 
twenty-four miles a day. There he built a raft and started 
out on the river, where he was picked up by the United 
States gunboat Dragon, and conveyed to Washington ; and 
after the lameness from an injured hip was well, he rejoined 


Lis regiment. Not a man in a thousand would liave been 
equal to the effort and endurance required for this escape. 

Captain Safford and Lieutenants Griswold and Fleury 
escaped at a point near Lynchburg, Ya. As the railroad track 
at that point had been destroyed by a recent Union raid, the 
prisoners were marched to the Roanoke river, about twenty 
miles south of Lynchburg. After crossing the Stanton river, 
July 1st, the column, comprising over 100 Union officers and 
some 2,000 enlisted men, halted under guard for the niglit on 
the bank of the river near Roanoke Station. Here Lieuten- 
ant Fleury first escaped, by dodging into a clump of willows 
and crawling off through the bushes. He was followed a few 
minutes later by Captain Safford and Lieutenant Griswold. 
The three crossed the river by wading and swimming the 
channel, lay in the woods until dark, and then started to the 
northwest. They were fed and piloted by the negroes, and 
generally moved at night and lay in the woods by day. After 
a while they were guided by a Confederate deserter who 
joined them, and were also aided by Union men living in 
that region. They crossed the James river near the Natural 
Bridge; and at Millboro were hunted by a provost-guard 
stationed there to intercept deserters. These pursued them 
with blood-hounds and whistling bullets, and in their flight 
they became separated. Griswold was recaptured and sent 
back to Libby Prison. Lieutenant Fleury had a narrow 
escape from death by a fall from a precipice, from which he 
tumbled head foremost into a creek, but got off* with a cut 
in his scalp, and made his way over the Alleghany moun- 
tains, and after travelling in all, on foot, about 350 miles, fed 
and guided day and night by the negroes, reached the Federal 
lines at Beverly, Randolph county. West Virginia, on the 23d 
of July, having been twenty-two days and nights on the way. 
Captain Safford reached Beverly twelve hours later. Both 
received furloughs to visit their homes, and rejoined the 
regiment in a few weeks. 


The following account of the escape and recapture of 
Lieutenant A. R. Chase, and of the horrible death of Lieu- 
tenant ParLer, is given in the words, slightly condensed, of 
Lieutenant Chase : 

On the 23d of June, 1864, it was the lot of some 400 
enlisted men and 17 officers of my regiment to fall into the 
hands of the rebels. We were taken to Libby, and from 
there to Lynchburg and Danville, Va.; thence to Greensboro, 
N. C; thence to Macon and Savannah, Ga., and from Savan- 
nah to Charleston, S. C, which city we reached about the 
13th of September. Learning while there that we were soon 
to be sent to Columbia, S. C, Lieutenant Parker, of Middle- 
bury, and myself resolved to make our escape. From the 
scanty provisions furnished us we saved enough, with what 
we could pick up, to last us four or five days, taking our 
chances for the future. On or about the 1st of October we 
were loaded into freight cars, and started for Columbia. 
Lieutenant Parker and myself took a position near the door 
of the car, guarded on either side. After leaving Branch- 
ville, Ga., the guards relaxed their vigilance somewhat, and 
the opportunity presented itself for our escape, which we 
embraced and jumped from the cars. We were fired upon 
by the guard but were not harmed, and after gathering our- 
selves up and holding a short council of war, from what we 
knew of the topography of the country, and by the aid of the 
north star as our guide, we started for East Tennessee. 
Lying secreted in the woods by day and traveling by night, 
we got on very well until the night of the 5th, when attempt- 
ing to cross the Wateree river by a bridge near where it unites 
with the Congaree to form the Santee, we found it guarded 
to apprehend deserters from the rebel army, then becoming 
numerous. When nearly across the bridge we were stopped, 
our passes demanded and we were ordered to the smoulder- 
ing camp-fire at its end for examination. Getting a few feet 
from the guard, we again escaped, and though half a dozen 
shots were fired at us, all missed their mark. Going into the 
underbrush that grows in those swamps, we were soon out of 
present danger. After traveling until we were tired and faint, 
we stopped to rest. The river at this point forms a horse- 
shoe curve, with the bridge at one end and the road touching 
the river at the other. An alarm was soon given and the 
dogs of the neighborhood placed upon our track ; but as it 
was at dead of night and those low lands infested with rep- 
tiles, they would not follow us. Guards were next stationed 



from the bridge aloug the road to Avliere it touclied the river. 
I have said we stopped to rest, but it was a sleepless rest. 
in the stillness of that October night we lay, anxiously 
awaiting the events of the morrow. Death stared us in the 
face, and we prayed, like him in Gethsemane, "if it be possi- 
ble let this cup pass from us ; nevertheless Thy will be done." 
Early in the morning the reports of shot-guns told us plainly 
that preparations were on foot for our capture. Hemmed in 
as we were, unarmed and defenceless, we felt our situation to 
be most critical. We could hear the blood-hounds howling, 
anxious to lie let loose to hunt us down, and by placing our 
ears to the ground we soon discovered they were on our track. 
Rather than fall victims to a fate we dared not contemplate, 
Ave resolved to reach the river, if possible, choosing death by 
drowning rather than by the dogs. Mustering all the 
strength our emaciated condition could give us, we strug- 
gled to reach the river, but when within some twenty rods of 
it the dogs overtook us. Taking Parker's track instead of 
mine, thirteen bloodhounds attacked him. The horrible 
manner in which they tore the flesh from his limbs, his 
body and his arms, I cannot adequately describe. With the 
flesh of his arms torn in shreds and the muscles of his body 
and limbs mangled and bleeding, he shouted : " Help me, 
I am being eaten up alive ! " Unarmed, I could do little. 
With the walking stick I had I could only drive off three or 
four of the dogs, and by this time the others would be at 
him again. Soon five men came up. In my excitement I 
paid no attention to their order to surrender until I was 
struck down and lay prostrate before them. I came near 
being shot. One of their number, a Mr. Mitchell, held the 
muzzle of his double-barreled gun against my breast and 
said he should have killed me had he not noticed a sign that 
I was a member of the same order to which he belonged. 
Meantime the others with their guns and clubs had driven 
the dogs off from Lieutenant Parker, and having wrapped 
him in his blanket we carried him to the station near by and 
laid him down. From there we were taken to Columbia, 
thirty miles by rail, whore he lingered for several days. I 
did all I could for him as he lay in his dying agonies. He 
wanted to say something but could not till just before he 
died, when it seemed as if all pain had ceased and he looked 
up to me and said in a low whisper : " Tell my mother I tried 

to do my duty. Tell [one whom he hoped in a few months 

to call his wife] that in death I loved her." With these words 
he died. I was then taken in charge by the guard and 


remanded to prison. Lieutenant Parker's remains were 
buried by the rebels, just where I know not ; but the soil 
which covers him is no longer rebel ground, but is under 
the authority of that flag for which he fought and for which 
he paid the full measure of his devotion. He escaped Octo- 
ber 5th, Avas run dOwn by the dogs the 6th, and died of his 
injuries on the 13th. 

The other officers, after a confinement of a month in the 
jail yard at Charleston, were taken to Columbia, S. C, where 
they spent the winter m the prison-pen, in hutswhich they 
built for themselves of pine poles covered with mud. They 
often suffered terribly from cold, as well as from starvation, 
scurvy and other ills, under which the strength and spirit of 
the stoutest gave way. In time they began to be cheered by 
news, stealthily conveyed by the colored people who were 
admitted to the prison camp for menial service, of Sherman's 
march through Georgia. In February they learned that he 
was approaching Columbia, and when they soon were hurried 
north to Charlotte, N. C, they knew the reason why. At 
Charlotte, news of an approaching general exchange re- 
newed the life within their wasted frames. From Charlotte 
they were moved to Goldsboro, .N. C, and there paroled in 
Illarch, 1865. 

Of the officers of the Eleventh captured on the 23d of 
June, all but Captain Morrill anc! Lieutenant Parker lived to 
be thus paroled and exchanged ; and all received honorable 
discharges from the service. The enlisted men captured at 
the same time fared much more hardly at the hands of their 
captors. They were distributed among the prison-pens of 
Andersonvillc Milieu, Florence, and Charleston, where 
within about six months nearly two-thirds of them died of 
starvation and exposure. Of the 261 stout and healthy men 
of the Eleventh taken that day, one hundred and sixty-five 
died in the enemy's hands Eighty-mne of these perished at 
Anderson ville, between the 15th of July, 1864, and the 10th 
of February, 1865. Of 58 men of company A taken to 
Andersonvillc, only eighteen lived to return to their homes : 


and the mortality in the other companies was only Httle less. 
Some of the survivors were but wrecks of men, and died soon 
after they reached Vermont. Not over one-fourth of the 
number, if so many, ever recovered from the effects of their 
imprisonment. The horrible details of the suffering which 
produced such results must be left to the imagination of the 

About this time several promotions, previously recom- 
mended, were made. Major Chamberlin Avas advanced to 
the vacant lieutenant-colonelcy, and Captain A. F. Walker 
was promoted to be major. First Lieutenant Charles J. 
Lewis was appointed captain of compan}' D, and Sergeant 
Major Charles G. Gould was commissioned as second lieuten- 
ant of company E. Having lost nearly a third of its number 
present for duty, the regiment was consolidated into two 
battahons, the first comprising the remnants of companies F, 
L, K and H, with companies E, C and D, under command of 
Major Walker ; and the second, the remnant of company 
A and the four remaining companies, B, I, G and M, under 
Major Hunsdon. 

The regiment remained, with the brigade, near the Wil- 
liams House, four miles south of Petersburg, engaged in 
building earthworks, till the Sixth Corps was sent to Wash- 
ington to defend the capital against Early's raid. In the 
engagement at Fort Stevens the regiment had three men 
wounded who were serving temporarily in Captain Beattie's 
company of sharpshooters. It was not a satisfactory experi- 
ence to the members of the rogiment, to come back to the 
fort which their own hands had built, and where they were 
familiar with the range and capacity of every gun, and to see 
the artillery entrusted to troops entirely unfamiliar with its 

But the capital was saved without much use of artillery, 
though Colonel Warner, who, just convalescent from his 
wound, hp,d reported for duty and been assigned to the com- 


mand of a brigade iu the forts, used some of the long range 
Parrott guns with good effect in the action of July 15th. 
Colonel Warner had a cordial greeting from the reo-iment 
as it passed Fort Reno on the first day's march after Early, 
but he could not accompany it, being retained to drill and 
discipline the green troops who garrisoned the forts after the 
departure of the veterans. 

On the 23d of July, after ten days of hard marching 
in Maryland and Virginia, the brigade returned to Washing- 
ton, where the Eleventh was detached from it and assigned 
to the eight forts, from Fort Lincoln to Fort Stevens, which 
it had garrisoned in former days. But after one night of 
garrison duty, the regiment was ordered to rejoin the First 
Vermont brigade, which was moving toward Frederick. 
The order was to report to the Sixth Corps " for temporary 
duty," but the regiment never returned to the forts. Instead, 
it had the better fortune to serve under Sheridan in the 
Shenandoah campaign. 

On the hard march to Frederick City, under the scorch- 
ing July sun, the regiment suffered even more than the other 
troops, for during its short absence from the corps it had 
missed its share of a new issue of shoes and clothing, and 
many of the men, already footsore, made this march nearly 
barefoot. During the halt and rest on the banks of the 
Monocacy, this lack was supplied, and the regiment made 
the trip to Strasburg and back to Harper's Ferry, as well 
clothed and shod as the rest. 

In the engagement at Charlestown, Va., on the 21st of 
August, when the Vermont brigade held a Confederate div- 
ision in check for an entire day, the regiment lost five killed 
and 27 wounded. It sustained an especially heavy blow in 
the loss of Lieut. Colonel George E. Chamberlin, who was 
shot through the abdomen during the first advance. He fell 
from his horse into the arms of Lieutenant Dodge, the adju- 
tant of his battalion, was taken to Harper's Ferrj^ and died 


there next claj.' lu this fight, both battalions -were en- 
gaged, and Walker's battalion suffered considerable loss. It 
had onl}"^ a few rails hastily thrown together for shelter, while 
the Confederate skirmishers fired from behind a stone wall at 
short range. The color-sergeants of both battalions were 
shot — Sergeant Daniel B. Field, of Company B, being in- 
stantly killed, and Sergeant John C. Pellett, of Company E, 
seriously wounded, receiving injuries which occasioned his 
discharge in December following.'^ 

In the recounoissance to and skirmish at Gilbert's Ford ' 
on the Opequon, September 13th, among the men wounded 
by shells from a battery on the further side of the stream, 

' Colonel Chamberlin was born in Lyndon, in 1838. He graduated 
with honor from Dartmouth College in 1860, studied law in the Harvard 
Law School, and at the beginning of the war was engaged in the success- 
ful practice of his profession, at St. Louis, Mo. He returned to Vermont 
in the summer of 1862, impelled by his sense of duty to his country, ia 
order to enlist in a Vermont regiment, and actively assisted in recruiting 
company A of the Eleventh regiment, at St. Johnsbury. He was chosen 
captain of the company at its organization, and was soon promoted to the 
office of major. He was appointed lieutenant colonel on the resignation of 
Lieut. Colonel Benton, in June, 1864. He was a conscientious and highly 
intelligent officer, who had the esteem and admiration of all who knew 
him, and his name should be cherished by Vermonters as that of one of 
the noblest and bravest of the sons of Vermont. While in command at 
Fort Totten, near Washington, Lieut. Colonel Chamberlin married the sis- 
ter of his life-long friend, Colonel Gardiner, of the Fourteenth New Hamp- 
shire regiment, who was killed at the battle of the Opequon, a few days 
after Chamberlin's death, the sad fortune of war thus depriving the 
widowed bride, already an orphan, of her only brother. 

^ Among the killed were : John N. Copeland, company A ; George A. 
Kilmer, company B ; Charles Doolittle and Elbridge F. Lynde, company 
C. To the list of killed should probably be added Thomas Gilkersou of 
company A, and J. E. Sawyer of company H, reported " missing in ac- 
tion," and George H. Safford, recorded as " not accounted for, August 31, 
1864." No men of the Eleventh, so far as was known, were captured that 

The following died of their wounds : Frederick Beals, John F. Crapo, 
Allen W. •Goodrich and Clark H. Russell, company C; David Goosey, 
company D ; Charles Woodworth, company I ; and George F. Bates, com- 
pany M. 

^This action is also called that of Lock's Ford. 


was Lieutenant Henry E. Bedell, of company D of the 
Eleventh. The remarkable history of his case, surpassiu"- 
fiction in romantic interest, is tlms narrated by Colonel 
Walker : 

Lieutenant Bedell was a man of splendid physique, 
muscular and athletic, over six feet high and about 28 years 
of age. An unexploded shell crashed through his left leg- 
above the knee, leaving flesh at either side, and a ghastly 
mass of mangled muscles, shattered bones and gushing 
arteries between. The bleeding v/as stopped by com- 
pression and the surgeons speedily amputated the leg at the 
upper third. Everything that the rude circumstances per- 
mitted was done for the sufierer, but there was little hope of 
liis recovery. Though his natural vigor was in his favor, his 
very size and the muscular strength on which he had prided 
himself were against him, for it was computed that over 
sixty-four square inches of flesh were laid bare by the sur- 
geon's knife. His right hand had also been seriously 
injured at the same time, receiving comminuted fractures of 
the bones of three Angers and of the middle hand. Tlie 
treatment of the hand was, however, deferred, until it should 
be seen whether he would rally from the shock of the ampu- 
tation. The ride of seven miles back to camp at nightfall, 
was a terrible trial to the wounded man. An ambulance 
under the most favorable circumstances is not a "downy 
bed of ease," and the jolting over rough ground and across 
ditches partially filled with rails, reduced Bedell's chances of 
life to hardly one in a thousand. His death was, in fact, 
expected every moment, but sustained by stimulants and 
his indomitable courage, he reached the army lines alive. 
Fortunately a house was accessible, and the use of a vacant 
room in its second story was obtained, where Bedell was 
placed on a tick hastily stufied with straw upon the floor. 
To the surprise of every one he survived the night, and a 
faint hope of saving his life was awakened. On the second 
day after the skirmish the surgeons decided to attempt the 
rehabilitation of the shattered hand. One or two fingers 
were removed, the broken bones were adjusted and the 
patient rallied in good spirits from the second operation. 
But his struggle for life had only just begun. After a few days 
of such rest as his miserable pallet could aftbrd, orders 
issued in preparation for the coming battle of the Opequon 
came to remove the sick and wounded to Harper's Ferry, 
twenty miles distant. Army wagons and ambulances were 


loaded -with the unfortunates and an attempt was made to 
transport poor Bedell "vvith the rest. But although he liad 
already endured a rougher journey, it was while his wounded 
nerves were benumbed by the first shock of the injury. Now 
the torn and gashed flesh had become inflamed, and he had 
less strength to endure the torture. At every motion of the 
ambulance he groaned with agony, and it was soon evident 
that it would cost him his life to carry him a mile. He was 
returned to his straw pallet, all but expiring. The army 
moved next morning and Bedell was left lying on his cham- 
ber floor with a soldier nurse and such hospital stores as he 
would be likely to need before his death. The soldier left 
to care for him soon followed the army, at Bedell's request, 
for the country swarmed with guerillas, and under the sj^s- 
tem of reprisals adopted by Mosby and Custer the life or 
death of the nurse would have been a mere question of time, 
had he remained. The family who allowed the Union officer 
the use of their naked room to die in, had little sympathy 
with thfeir unfortunate guest. Their solemn promises, made 
to his comrades, to give him care and attention were deliber- 
ately violated, and his chamber was never even entered by 
them. Death, horrible in its pain and loneliness, must have 
come quickly, had not a good Samaritan appeared in the 
person of a Southern woman who united with a tender heart 
the rarest courage and devotion and perseverance. 

Mrs. Bettie VanMetre was a Virginian, born in the 
Luray Valley, scarcely twenty at the time in question, and of 
attractive personal appearance. She had been educated in 
comfortable circumstances, and before the war her husband 
had been moderately wealthy, biit now his farm was as 
barren as a desert, not a fence to be seen, and nothing to 
protect had any enclosure remained ; there was a mill iipon 
the premises, but the miller had gone to fight for his coun- 
try, as he believed, and there was now no grain left in the 
country to be ground. Officers who had called at her door, 
remarked the brave attempt at cheerfulness which so mani- 
festly struggled with her sorrow, and treated her grief with 
deference. For this delicately nurtured girl was living alone 
in the midst of war ; battles had raged around her very 
dwelling; she was entirely at the mercy of those whom she 
had been taught to believe to be her deadly enemies, and 
who held her husband and brother prisoners in Fort Dela- 
ware, taken while fighting in the Confederate army, the 
brother bemg, until long after this time, supposed to be 
dead. Her only companion was a little girl, perhaps ten 


years of age, lier niece. There this young woman and this 
child were waiting in their anxiety and desolation, waiting 
and praying for peace. 

We should hardly expect the practice of active, labori- 
ous, gratuitous benevolence under such circumstances ; but 
we shall see. 

It is not known how Mrs VanMetro learned that a 
Union officer was dying of wounds and neglect in the house 
of her neighbor, but no sooner had she made the discovery 
than all her womanly sympathy was aroused. As she would 
have longed to have her husband or her brother treated 
under similar circumstances, so she at once resolved to treat 
their foe. She would not be moved by the sneers and 
taunts which were sure to come, but she would have him at 
her own house and save him if she could. 

The lieutenant had now been entirely neglected for a 
day or two or longer; he had resigned himself to death, 
when this good woman entered his chamber and with kindly 
words called back his spirit from the mouth of the grave. 

She had been allowed to keep an apology for a horse, so 
old and broken-winded and rheumatic that he was not worth 
stealing, and also a rickety wagon. With the assistance of a 
neighbor whose color permitted him to be humane, she car- 
ried the sufferer to her house, and at last he found himself 
in a clean and comfortable bed, his wounds washed and his 
bandages cleansed, and best of all, his wants anticipated by 
a gentle female tenderness that inspired him with sweet 
thoughts of his home, his family, and his life even yet per- 
haps to be regained. 

The physician of the neighborhood, a kind old gentle- 
man, was at once summoned from a distance of several miles, 
and uniting personal sympathy with professional zeal, he 
promised his daily attendance upon the invalid. The chance 
was still but a slender one, so much had been endured and 
so little vigor remained, yet those two good people deter- 
mined to expend their most earnest endeavors in the almost 
desperate attempt to save the life of an enemy. 

And they succeeded. The details of convalescence are 
always uninteresting ; it is enough to say that Bedell lay for 
many days wrestling with death, but at last he began to 
mend, and from that time his improvement was rapid. But 
although Mrs. VanMetre and the good doctor were able to 
supply the lieutenant's most pressing wants, still much more 
than they could furnish was needed for the comfort of the 
invalid, and even for the proper treatment of his wounds. 


No stimulants could be obtained except the vilest apple- 
jack, and the necessity for them seemed absolute ; no cloth- 
ing was to be had, and he was still in his bloody garments of 
blue ; delicate food was. needed, but the impoverished Vir- 
ginia larder had none but what was simple and coarse. 

At Harper's Ferry, however, was a depot of the United 
States Sanitary Commission, and stores in abundance. Some 
one must undertake a journey thither. It was a long day's 
ride to make the distance and return, and success was by no 
means assured even if the store-house could be reached. It 
was in the charge of strangers and enemies. The lieutenant 
was too feeble to write, and even if he had been able to do 
so, there was no method of authenticating his signature. But 
a woman would be far more likely to succeed than a man, 
and in fact no man would be allowed to pass within the limits 
of the garrison encircling Harper's Ferry. So it came about 
that the feeble Rosinante and the rattling wagon and the 
brave-hearted solitary driver, made the dangerous journey, 
and brought back a feast of good things for the sufferer. 

The picket had been seduced by her eloquence to send 
her to headquarters, undercharge of a guard, which watched 
her carefully as a probable spy. The general in command 
had seen fit to allow her to carry away such trifling articles 
as the Commission people would be willing to give ; and 
although the chances were even that the gifts would be used 
in building up some wounded rebel, still the earnestness and 
apparent truthfulness of her entreaty for relief overbore all 
scruples ; the old-fashioned vehicle was loaded with the 
wished for siipplies, and the suspicious guard escorted the 
cargo beyond the lines. The trip was thereafter repeated 
week by week, and when letters were at length received in 
answer to those deposited by the fair messenger, postmarked 
among the Green Mountains, her triumph was complete, and 
her draft good for anything the Sanitary treasury contained. 
The only lingering doubt was in regard to the eno^^-mous 
amount of whiskey the invalid required. Mrs. VanMetre, 
however, explained that it was needed for diplomatic as well 
as medicinal purposes. Of course it had been bruited about 
among the neighbors that the miller's wife was nursing a 
Federal officer. In that region, now abandoned to the rule of 
Mosby and his men, concealment was essential. Therefore, 
the old men who had heard of the convalescent must be 
taken into confidence and pledged to secrecy, a course ren- 
dered possible only by the liberal use of sjy^Titris fr^fmnrti. 
Under the influence of such liquor as had not been guzzled 


in the valley since the peaceful days of Buchanan, the vener- 
able rascals were easily convinced that such a shattered life 
as that of the lieutenant could not greatly injure their beloved 

Five weeks after Bedell received his wounds, Sheridan's 
army was encamped on Cedar Creek. The lieutenant now 
greatly needed his valise from the army baggage wagons. 
Therefore, a journey of twenty miles up the valley was planned, 
which brought our heroine and her little niece to the army 
again, with a few words traced by the maimed right hand of 
her charge as her credentials. Her simple story awakened 
the profoundest wonder and surprise among the lieutenant's 
former comrades, as they learned that their favorite who was 
dead was alive again, and felt how much true heroism her 
modest words concealed. She had plainly abandoned herself 
for weeks to the care of a suffering enemy, and yet she did 
not seem to realize that she deserved any credit for so doing, 
or that every woman would not have clone as much. She 
was loaded with the rude attentions of the camp, and spent 
the night comfortably (from a military point of view) in a 
vacant tent at General Getty's headquarters. The desired 
valise was then at Winchester, but she obtained it on her 

The next daybreak found Getty's division fighting the 
battle of Cedar Creek. Amid the mounting in hot haste and 
the thronging confusion of the morning's surprise. General 
Getty found time to commit his terrified guests to the care of 
an orderly, who by a circuitous route conducted them safely 
out of the battle. 

While the army was near Berryville, in September, some 
of General Getty's stafi' officers had called upon Mrs. Van- 
Metre, and had persuaded her to prepare for them a meal or 
two from the army rations, there being a magnetism in 
female cookery that the blades of the staff were always crav- 
ing. In her visit to the army just mentioned, she had learned 
that one of those casual acquaintances had fallen at the for- 
mer battle of the Opequon, and that his body was still lying 
somewhere on that wide battle-field. Seizing the earliest 
opportunity after her return, she personally searched all 
through the territory between Opequon Creek and Winches- 
ter, amid the carrion and the graves, until she found at last 
the rude board with its almost obliterated inscription that 
fixed the identity of the too scantily covered corpse. Shocked 
at the sight, for the rain had exposed the limbs and the 
crows had mangled them, she procuied a coffin and laborers 


from "Winchester and had tlie remains decently interred in 
the cemeter}' there, at her own expense. Then she addressed 
a letter to his friends giving them the information which she 
possessed, and they subsequently recovered the relics, thank- 
ing God and their unknown benefactor. 

After a long period of careful nursing, varied only by 
her weekly journey to Harper's Ferry for letters and sup- 
plies, the prudent doctor at last gave his consent that Bedoli 
should attempt the journey home. Armed now with a paii 
of sanitary crutches, he doubted not that he could make his 
way, if he once could reach the Union lines But the diffi- 
culty of getting to Harper's Ferry cost him much anxiety. 
Though at various times forty guerillas together had been in 
and about the house where he lay, the watchful care of his 
protector had thus far kept them in ignorance of his pres- 
ence. This jo^^rney, however, was likely to prove even more 
difficult to manage. At length one of the toddy-drinking 
neighbors, while relating his trials and losses, chanced to 
mention the seizure by our troops, of a pair of his mules 
months before, and the fact that a negro had since seen 
them in the Martinsburg corral. A happy thought struck 
the lieutenant ; he at once assured the old gentleman that if 
he could only be placed (what there was left of him) in safety 
at the Ferry, the mules should be returned. The promise 
might perhaps be considered rash, seeing that Martinsburg 
was twenty-live miles from Harper's Ferry, under a different 
commander ; that it was decidedly unusual to restore prop- 
erty seized from the enemy for government use ; that the 
chattels were probably long ago far up the Valley, and espe- 
cially that Bedell coul I not have, in any event, the faintest 
shadow of authority in the premises. But the Old man 
jumped at the offer and the bargain was struck. 

It was decided that Mrs. VanMetre should accompany 
the Lieutenant home, both for his sake, as he was yet months 
from recover}', and for her own, as she had now lived for 
years in unwonted destitution and anxiety, while a quiet, 
comfortable home was thenceforth assured to her by her 
grateful charge until the return of j^eace ; and wdio knew if 
she might not in some way regain her own husband, as she 
had restored another's ? 

So the party was made up and the journey commenced. 
The officer was carefully hidden in a capacious farm- wagon, 
Tinder an immense heap of straw, and though two marauding 
parties were met during the day, the cheerful smile of the 
well-known jolly farmer disarmed suspicion. The escape was 


successful. The clumsy vehicle drew up before headquarters 
at Harper's Ferry, aud Bedell, saluted once more by a sen- 
tinel as he doffed his hat to the flag he had suffered for, 
headed the procession to the general's room. 

The unique party told its own story. The tall lieutenant, 
emaciated, staggering on his unaccustomed crutches, the 
shrinking woman, timid in the presence of authority though 
so heroic in the presence of death, and the old Virginian 
aghast at finding himself actually in the lion's den, but 
with the burden of an anxious longing written on his Avrinkled 
face, — each character so speaking, the group needed only 
this simple introduction : " General, this man has brought 
me in, and wants his mules! " 

General Stevenson, warm-hearted and sympathetic, com- 
prehended the situation at once. He made the party seat 
themselves before him and tell him all their story. He fed 
them at his table and lodged them in his quarters. He tele- 
graphed for a special leave of absence for the officer, and 
secured free transportation for both him and his friend, and 
finally, most surprising of all good-fortune, he sent the ven- 
erable charioteer to Martinsburg, the happy bearer of a 
message that secured the restoration of his long-eared quad- 

On the next day the lieutenant and Mrs. VanMetre went 
on by rail to Washington, where of course every one treated 
them kindly and gave them all possible assistance. When 
the paymaster had been visited and all preparation made for 
their journey north, it was determined to make an effort to 
secure the release of the rebel prisoner. So it came about 
that the quasi-widow and the crippled officer called together 
upon Secretary Stanton. The busiest of all busy men found 
time to hear their story, and despite the " stony heart " at- 
tributed to him by his enemies, he was deeply affected by 
the touching tale, and the ocular demonstration of its truth 
in the person of the wounded soldier. Tears rolled down 
his cheeks as he gave the order requested, earned by acts 
that few women would have dared ; and the couple with glad 
hearts, crossing the street to the office of the Commissary 
General of Prisoners, presented the document to the clerk in 
charge to be vised. But here another difficulty arose. Some 
one had blundered, and on searching the records of the 
office the required name could not be found. The cruel re- 
port was made that no such prisoner had been taken. 

Nevertheless, Mrs. VanMeti-e's information had been 
direct and her conviction of some mistake was sure. They 


laid the case before General Hitchcock, then in charge of 
that office, and again the storj was argument enough. With 
trembling hands the old gentleman endorsed the order: 
" The commanding officer at Fort Delaware will release any 
person tlu bearer may claim as her luisband." 

The prison barracks were quickly reached. The com- 
mandant caused the thousanac of grizzly captives to be 
paraded. File after file was anxiously, oh how anxiously ! 
scanned by the trembling woman, and when the circuit was 
almost conipleted, when her sinking heart was almost per- 
suaded that death instead of capture had indeed been the 
fate of the one she loved, she recognized his face despite his 
unkempt hair and his tattered garments, and fell upon the 
neck of her husband as he stood in the weary ranks. 

A few days more and the two united families were at 
rest in Bedell's New England home. 

In the battle of the Opequon, September 19th, Colonel 
"Warner commanded the Vermont brigade with an ability 
which gave him the permanent command of the First brigade 
of the division, and the regiment was commanded by Major 
Walker, who distinguished himself by his personal gallantry 
and efficient handling of his command. The regiment lost 
seven killed, 85 wounded and four missing. Among the 
killed were Captain Charles Buxton of company G, who was 
shot through the head and died instantly and Lieutenant 
Daniel Duhigg, company M. Captain Buxton had been 
recently promoted to be major, and Lieutenant Duhigg to be 
captain of his company, but they had not received their com- 
missions at the time of their deaths.' Captain James E. 
Eldredge of company H, and Captain Darius Safford of com- 

' The rank and file killed were : Company B, Corporal Edgar M. Phin- 
ney and Lyman Dunbar ; company P, Joel W. Chaffee ; company I, John 
McCarthy ; company M, Stephen Currier. 

Twelve died of their wounds, as follows : Company A, Corporal Clea- 
son Cameron ; company B, Levi L. Goodrich ; company D, Corporal Ira 
C. Twiss and John S. Andrews, company E, Corporal George A. Peeler; 
company G, Corporal Carroll N. Weatherbee ; company H. Sergeant Ben- 
jamin S. Edgerton and Marcellus T. Russell ; company I, Wyman R. Bur- 
nap ; company K, Corporal John H. Fisk and Frank Minor ; company M, 
Henry E. Decamp, 


pany L, were in the line this day, having recently returned 
from the furloughs granted them after their escape from 
captivity, and both were wounded, as was also Lieutenant 
Edward A. Todd of company K. 

Colonel Warner did not return to the regiment, the com- 
mand of which devolved on Major Hunsdon, who was pro- 
moted to the lieutenant-colonelcy. Major Walker still 
commanded the First battalion, and Major George D. Sowles, 
who was promoted to the majority made vacant by the death 
of Major Buxton, commanded the Second battalion. The 
regiment had two men wounded at Fisher's Hill, September 
21st and 22d, one of whom. Lieutenant J. A. Lewis of com- 
pany C, was an aid on Colonel Warner's staff. 

In the battle of Cedar Creek, October 19th, the two bat- 
talions of the Eleventh were commanded by Major Walker 
and Captain Eobinson Templeton. A portion of the regiment 
took part in the first fighting done by Getty's division. This 
was about seven a. m., when, after the division took its first 
stand along Meadow Brook, the Vermont brigade was directed 
to drive the enemy from the woods east of the turnpike, 
behind which the enemy was re-forming his lines for a fresh 
advance. Several companies of Walker's battalion were at 
this time deployed, with portions of the Fifth and Sixth Ver- 
mont regiments, and established a strong skirmish line along 
the crest of a ridge, from which they opened fire with effect 
on the enemy in front. They were seriously annoyed by the 
fire of the Union batteries behind them, and many took 
refuge from it in front of a large barn. They held the posi- 
tion till they were driven in by Pegram's double line of battle. 
In the second stand of Getty's division, soon after, the men 
of the Eleventh rendered admirable service, inflicting heavy 
loss on the enemy. At this point of the battle, on the crest 
west of Meadow Brook, the regiment lost most of its men 
that fell during the day. It shared in the sharp fighting and 
grand victorious advance of the afternoon, and its yellow flag 


was as far to the front as that of any infantry regiment, in 
the final halt in the recaptured entrenchments of the Nine- 
teenth Corps. 

In this battle the regiment lost 10 killed and 74 wounded, 
of whom 14 died of their wounds, and 20 men were captured 
on picket in the early morning. Among the killed was 
Second Lieutenant Oscar S. Lee of company M, who was the 
only officer killed in the brigade. He was struck by a piece 
of shell, which carried away his left shoulder. His body was 
stripped of everything by the enemy, but was recognized 
when the field was re-occupied, and was buried in a grave- 
yard near by. It was afterwards sent to his home in Water- 

Among the wounded were Captain Edward P. Lee of 
company B, a brother of Lieutenant Oscar S. Lee ; Lieuten- 
ant George O. French of company C, who was afterwards 
killed at Petersburg ; Lieutenant Henry C. Baxter of com- 
pany A, who was serving on the brigade staff, and First 
Lieutenant H. J. Nichols of company B, aid on Colonel 
Warner's staff. 

^ Lieutenant Lee was a brave and efficient officer. He was appointed 
first sergeant of his company at its organization ; was commissioned 
second lieutenant March 29, 1864, and was promoted to be captain of his 
company three days before the battle in which he was killed, but he did 
not live to receive his commission. 

The rank and file killed were : Company A, Corporal George T. Kas- 
son and Obed S. Hatch ; company D, Julius Minor ; company E. Ira H. 
Tompkins; company G, George It. Campbfll and Orson G. Gibson ; company 
K Sergeant Manley E Bellus and Willard M. Davis ; company L, Wesley 
G. Sheldon. 

Those who died of their wounds were: Company A, Dan S. Smith; 
company B, John Woodward ; company C, Sergeant Ransom M. Patch, 
Zelotes Kendall, Joseph Rabiteaux and Erastus Laird ; company P, Cor- 
porals Charles Devereaux and Nelson P. Skinner, and Private George L. 
Heath; company I, Corporal Elbridge G. Wilson, Robert H. Tibbetts and 
Albert Woodworth; company K, Thomas Poster; company L, Sergeant 
John D. Williams; company M, Sergeant Marshall Wilmarth. 

William A Page of company C, and M. K. Stoddard of company M, 
were captured during the forenoon, and died in the hands of the enemy. 


The following officers of the Eleventh received brevet 
commissions signed by the President for gallant and meri- 
torious service in the Valley: Colonel James M. Warner 
brevetted brigadier general; Major Aldace F. Walker, 
brevetted lieutenant colonel; Captain James E. Eldredge 
brevetted major; Lieutenant Henry C. Baxter brevetted 
cai3tain. Surgeon Castanus B. Park of the Eleventh was 
brigade surgeon during the Shenandoah campaign. His 
duties Avere at times very arduous. After the battle of Cedar 
Creek he was at the operating table for forty-eight consecu- 
tive hours. During the whole campaign he performed, with 
his accustomed skill all the capital operations required in 
the brigade, and the whole command came to share the 
gratitude and affection with which he was always regarded 
by the officers and men of the Eleventh. Lieutenant Charles 
AY. Clark of the Eleventh was for a time, during this cam- 
paign, in charge of the quartermaster's department of the 
brigade, and fulfilled the duties with great efficiency and 

The regiment remained with the brigade two weeks at 
Strasburg, and spent a comparatively restful month near 
Winchester. The morning report of October 31st showed 
the severity of the service during this campaign. It reported 
but 726 officers and men present for duty out of an aggre- 
gate of 1,668. Of the remainder 291 were prisoners and 
630 were on the list of sick and wounded. 

In December the regiment went with the brigade to 
Washington and thence to City Point, and to the front 
of Petersburg. Some convalescents returned and the regi- 
ment opened the year 1865 with an effective force of 853 and 
475 on the sick list. Major Walker returned to Vermont on 
leave in March, taking with him the shot-torn colors of the 
regiment, under which two color-sergeants and fifteen cor- 
porals had been killed or wounded in the campaigns between 
Spottsylvania and Cedar Creek. 



In the capture of the enemy's entrenched picket line, Id 
front of Petersburg, on the 25th of March, the colors of the 
Eleventh were seized and borne into the enemy's works by 
Lieutenant George A. Bailey of company M, a btave young 
officer, who was personally complimented by General Getty 
for his gallantry, and was soon after placed on Geutral 
Getty's staif. On the right of the Vermont brigade, Warner's 
brigade carried the entrenchments in front of them in a 
splendid charge, led by Colonel Warner, who took the bri- 
gade headquarters colors into his own hand and led his men 
over the breastworks, capturing a regiment and sweeping a 
long space of the rifle-pits clear of their defenders. In this 
affair the Eleventh lost one man killed and 12 wounded, two 
of whom died of their wounds.' Lieutenant William O. Dick- 
inson of company E was among the wounded, receiving a 
severe contusion of the thigh, from a piece of a shell. In 
repulsing the attempt of the enemy to re-take the captured 
line on the 27th of March, the regiment lost "five men wounded 
— none of them seriously. Eighteen men of the Eleventh 
were captured in this action, in a part of the rifle-pits which 
the enemy occupied for a few moments ; but they did not 
remain long in the enemy's hands. 

In the final assault upon the lines of Petersburg, April 
2d, 1865, the two battalions were commanded, under Colonel 
Hunsdon, by Major George D. Sowles and Captain Darius J. 
Safford. The regiment had a brilliant share in the glorious 
work of the day. Though its battalions formed the last two 
lines of the brigade in its formation for the charge, the men 
of the Eleventh were among the first to mount the enemy's 
works, and the yellow colors of the regiment were planted on 
them little ii any, in point of time, behind those of any other 
organization. Colonel Hunsdon was active in restoring the 
formation of the brigade after the tumultuous rush through the 

' Killed, Horace G. Barnes of company L. Died of wounds, Augustus 
B. Fullerton and Solomon W. Cobleigh of company A. 


enemy's lines, though there was not time to do much in the 
way of restoring company organizations before the line 
again started forward. In the movement of the brigade be- 
liiiid the enemy's lines, the two battalions of the Eleventh 
formed the left of the line of battle. 

The incident of the capture of two guns and seventy 
officers and men of the Forty-second Mississippi, mentioned 
in the official reports, took place not long before the brigade 
halted near Hatcher's Eun. lu pushing on through swamps 
and woods, organizations had again been largely lost, and 
Captain Safford's battalion was hurrying forward without 
connections on either flank, when it was confronted by a 
considerable force of the enemy with two field-pieces. Cap- 
tain Tilden asked and was granted the privilege of charging 
the guQS. Taking twenty or thirty men, of several companies 
mingled indiscriminately, who formed the right of the bat- 
talion, he started for the guns. A discharge of canister from 
one of them disabled several men, but the rest pushed on, 
firing as they went, and bringing doAvn a mounted officer. 
The artillerists fled from one of the pieces and Tilden's men 
turned and fired it upon the enemy. Here Tilden was joined 
by Lieutenant Dorman of company G, and about twenty 
men, and all started on the run to the right to cut off the 
retreat of the supports of the battery. These halted in 
a piece of woods and were summoned by Tilden to sur- 
render. They waved a white handkerchief in response, and 
Lieut. Colonel A. M. Nelson of the Forty-second Mississippi, 
with 10 commissioned officers and 62 men of his regiment, 
marched out of the woods and laid down their arms. After 
his surrender Colonel Nelson, who was wounded, expressed 
resret that he had not discovered the small number of his 
captors a little sooner. Meantime Lieutenant Dorman had 
secured the other gun, and the guns and prisoners were 
soon turned over to Lieut. Colonel Mundee, of General 
Getty's staff, who was then directing the movement of the 


brigade. In the movement back toward Petersburg tlie 
skirmish line of the brigade consisted of men of the Eleventh 
under Captain Saftbrd, and in the capture of Williams's 
North Carolina battery at the Turnbull House, Captain 
Templeton and some men of the Eleventh had a gallant 
part. Throughout the day officers and men behaved with 
the utmost bravery and enthusiasm. The regiment lost five 
killed and 45 wounded. 

Among the killed was Second Lieutenant George O. 
French, who fell while cheering on his men in the first 
assault. Among the wounded were Lieutenants Cyrus 
Thomas, William O. Dickinson, and John H. Macomber.' 

In this final assault. General Warner again distinguished 
himself. His brigade charged on the right of the Vermont 
brigade, and Warner was, it is believed, the first mounted 
man inside the works. Upon the promotion of Colonel War- 
ner as full brigadier general, bearing date May 8th, 1865, 
Lieut. Colonel Hunsdon succeeded him as colonel of the 
regiment. Major Walker was promoted to be lieutenant 
colonel, and Captain Darius J. Safi'ord was appointed major. 
For gallant conduct on this occasion, Captain George G. 
Tilden, Brevet Captain Henry C. Baxter, and Lieutenant 
Henry J. Nichols received the brevet rank of major, and 
Lieutenants George A. Bailey, John H. Macomber, and 
Charles H. Anson were brevetted captains. 

The regiment constituted a portion of the Vermont bri- 
gade until the latter was disbanded. It took part in the 
review of the brigade on the 7th of June, and in the grand 
review of the Sixth Corps at Washington the day following. 

On the 24th of June, the original members of the regi- 
ment and the recruits whose term of service would expire 
before the 1st of October, 530 in number, were mustered out of 

' The rank and file killed were : John Biden and Edwin Hall, com- 
pany L, and Charles Colby and George W. Weller, company M. 

Died of their wounds : Nathaniel B. Johnson, company A, and Me- 
dard Peck, company G. 





the service of the United States and started for home. They 
arrived in New York at three o'clock on the morning of the- 
27th, and reached Burlington in the afternoon of the 29tli. 
They marched from the depot to the City Hall, the regi- 
mental band playing " Home Again," and were received by 
Major Catlin, and welcomed home by J. S. Adams, Esq. 
Colonel Hunsdon responded on behalf of the regiment, and 
the men stacked arms and marched up into the hall, where 
they were welcomed by the ladies with songs and flowers and 
a bountiful supper, which was acknowledged with cheers, in 
which the regiment sustained its old reputation as "the best 
yelling regiment in the defenses of Washington." The regi- 
ment then marched to its quarters at the Hospital grounds. 
The officers and the numbers of the men of the respective 
companies returning at this time were as follows : 

Colonel Hunsdon, Lieut. Colonel Walker, Majors Sowles and Temple- 
ton, Surgeon Park, Chaplain Little, Acting Adjutant E. L. Foster, Qiiar- 
termaster Clark, and Assistant Surgeon Charles W. Bourne. 

Company A — Captain Orlo H. Austin, First Lieutenant Henry C. Bax- 
ter, Second Lieutenants Frank Anson and Charles Ross, and 37 enlisted 

Company B— Captain Edward P. Lee, First Lieutenant Walter S. 
Jones, Second Lieutenant Philo S. Lawrence, and 52 enlisted men. 

Company C— Captain Silas B. Tucker, First Lieutenants William V. 
Meeker and Judson A. Lewis, Second Lieutenants Francis R. Shaw and 
Asa F. Mather, and 48 enlisted men. 

Company D— Captain Chester W. Dodge, First Lieutenants William G. 
Dunham ana Cyrus Thomas, Second Lieutenant Paphro D. Pike, and 50 
enlisted men. 

Company E— Captain John C. Sears, First Lieutenants Charles H. 
Anson and Roger A. Tubbs, Second Lieutenants Albert Patch and Samuel 
H. Holbrook, and 41 enlisted men. 

Company F — Captain Edward F. Griswold, First Lieutenant William 
W. Gage, Second Lieutenants HoUia D. Bailey and John N. vYeston, and 
30 enlisted men. 

Company G— Captain Patrick Diggins, First Lieutenant Charles W. 
Clark, Second Lieutenant Alroy A. Snow, and 60 enlisted men. 

Company H — Captain George G. Tilden, First Lieutenants William O. 
Dickinson and John R. Wilson, Second Lieutenants Edward Blaisdell and 
Charles D. Stafford, and 45 enlisted men. 

Company I — Captain George G. Howe, First Lieutenant Edward L. 


Foster, Second Lieutenants Charles L. Benson and George Colton, and 51 
enlisted men. 

Company K— First Lieutenant Sidney Bliss, Second Lieutenant Nathan 
Martin, and 51 enlisted men. 

Company L — First Lieutenant Julius S. Dorman, and 6 enlisted men. 

Company M— First Lieutenant Julius Rice, Second Lieutenant Ransom 
A Wells, and 3 enlisted men. 

The members of the regiment who were not mustered 
out in June, were consolidated into a battalion of four com- 
panies of heavy artillery under command of Major Safford, 
and were stationed in the defenses of Washington, at Fort 
Foote, Md. Major Safford was promoted lieutenant colonel, 
and Captain Chase, major, in July. 

On the 25th of August, the battalion, numbering 275 
officers and men, was mustered out at Washington and 
started immediately for Vermont. It arrived at Burlington 
at half-past six on the evening of the 29th, was received at 
the depot by a number of citizens, and marched to the City 
Hall, where Eev. H. K. Cobb of the First M. E. church, wel- 
comed them in behalf of the people of Vermont. The 
customary supper was served by the ladies in the City HalL 
A few days later the officers and men were paid off, and 
dispersed to their liomes. 

The officers who returned at this time were as follows 

Lieut. Colonel Safford, Major Chase, Assistant Surgeon Harrington, 
Adjutant Anson, and Quartermaster Stel.bins. 

Company A — Captain A. G. Fleury ; First Lieutenant J. D. Sheridan, 
Second Lieutenants IL S. Castle and James J. Doty. 

Company B — Captain George A. Bailey, First Lieutenant Charles H. 
Bush, Second Lieutenants Samuel B. Jones and Samuel H. Holbrook. 

Company C— Captain John H. Macomber, First Lieutenants Oren G. 
Chase and Ira V. Edwards, Second Lieutenants Anthony W. Davidson and 
Harrison B. George. 

Company D — Captain Henry J. Nichols, First Lieutenant Hollis D. 
Morrill, First Lieutenant Samuel L. Daggett, Second Lieutenant Don C. 





Capt. Edwin J. Morrill, 

Lieut. Jonathan C. Burnham, 

Corp. Lorenzo D. Farnham, 

William A. Aiken, 

Lanson E. Aldrich, 

Harvey B. Aldrich, 

Freeman Barker, 

Nathaniel Batchelder, Jr., 

Elias S. Chase, 

George L. Fairchild, 

John Green, 

Charles A. Hale, 

Levi Hines, 

Henry Lackie, 

Newcomb Martin, 

Harry Nichols, 

Corp. Marshall G. Packard, 

Maxon L. Royce, 

Martin S. Sanborn, 

Clark S. Wright, 

Joseph Baker, 

Joseph B. Brown, 

Henry B. Chase, 

George D. Emerson, 

Leander B. Farnham, 

Benjamin Hall, 

John Howard, 

John W. Hudson, 

Silas P. HudsoQ, 

Nathan C. Hulburd, 

Thaddeus R. Prest 

Andrew St. John, 

Albert S. Stockwell, 

Joseph St. Pierre, 

Edwin W. Stuart, 

Andr(^w Sturgeon, 

James W. Taylor, 

Alfred Ward, 

Charles K. Wells, 

Alonzo White, 

Chester S. WUley, 


June 33, 1864 


June 30, 1864. 

Richmond, July 21, " 

August 19, " 

Andersonville, Nov. 17, '' 

" Oct. 8, " 

" 20, '' 

Sept. 7, " 

Rebel hospital, Oct. 27, " 

Andersonville, Sept. 15, " 

Rebel hospital, Nov. 25, " 

In prison, Dec. 5, " 

Andersonville, Nov. 17, " 

Oct. 12, " 

Rebel hospital, Nov. 25, " 

Andersonville, " 2, " 

Oct. 17. " 

" Nov. 13, " 

Rebel hospital, Dec. 15 " 

Andersonville, Nov. 11, " 

" Aug. 30, " 


Oct. 26, 



" 16, 



Sept. 16, 



Aug. 21, 



" 20, 



" 11, 



Nov. 4, 



Oct. 16, 



" 14, 



Sept. 23, 



Aug. 7, 



July 15, 



Sept. 11, 



Oct. 26, 



Feb. 1, 


In prison 

, Oct. 15, 



, Oct. 19, 



Sept. 5, 



" 17, 



Oct. 8, 



Nov. 25, 




2d Lieut. Edward B. Parker, 
Levi St. Clair, 

William A. Pago, 
William IL Barber, 
Allen J. Benson, 
Thomas Gary, 
George Sweeney, 

Haskell Foster, 


Capturea. Died. 

June 23, 1864. Columbia, Oct. 13, 1864. 
" Rebel tiospital, " 15, " 


Captured. Died. 

Oct. 19, 1864. Supposed dead. 

June 23 " Andersouville, Nov. 16, 1864. 

.< .< a << Aug. 2J, " 

June 17, 1864. " " 13, " 

May 24, 1864. " Sept. 4, " 


Captured. Died. 

June 23, 1864. Andersouville, Oct. 25, 1864. 

Emerson Bishop, 

Sergeant Wm. C. Tallman, 
Hiram Burroughs, 
Francis W. Doying, 
Corp. Moses M. Elkins, 
Charles Foster, 
Corp. Martin E. Guild, 
Joseph Kidder, 
Willard Morse, 
Franklin A. Raymo, 
George Robbins 
Lemuel H. Sulham 
Greorge S. Twiss, 
Chauncey G. Webster, 
Cory. John A. Wilson, 
George E. Bemis, 
Charles H. Brooks, 
Alden O. Bumps, 
Martin L. Clark, 
John D. Clough, 
Divine Crowley, 
George W, Dewey, 
Edward Duval, 
Stephen M. Fairbrother, 


Captured. Died. 

May 17, 1864. Andersonville, Jan. 8, 1865. 


Captured. Died. 

June 23,1864. Andersonville, Aug. 15, 1864. 
" Sept. 10, " 

Aug. 13, " 
" Charleston, Jan. 20, 1865. 

" " Sept. 20, 1864. 

** In prison. 

" Florence, Sept. 25, 1864. 

" Andersonville, Aug. 3, 

" " Oct 16, 

" " Aug. 20, 

" Charleston, Sept. 26, 

" 22, 
" " " 19, 

" " Jan. 15, 1865. 

" Dec. 20, 1864. 

** Charleston, Oct. 1, 

" Florence, Sept. 20, 

" Andersonville, Aug. 31, 

July 24, 
" " Aug. 35, 

•' Dec. 4. 

" In prison, 

" March 14, 1865. 



Lewis H. Frost, 
Henry L. Goodall, 
Benjamin 11. Jenks, 
Lutlier C. Kelsey, 
Lawrence Poquette, 
iSamuel F. Stea'ns, 
Beman B. Stratton, 
Elbridge G. J. Varnum, 
George C. Varnum, 
Ira A. Willey, 
George F. Woodmancy, 
Sergeant George R. Ranger, 
W. H. Chamberlin, 
Lewis Flower, 
Ana Lafountain, 
Franklin Woodward, 

Sergt. George Day, 
Henry K. Barrett, 
Wilmoth Ayers, 
John H. Bruce, 
Carlos R. Bugbee, 
Horace S. Button, 
Arthur M. French, 
James B. Goodrich, 
Pembroke S. Grover, 
Crowell 3L Knowles, 
Harvey J. Lyman, 
George L. ]\Iorse, 
Samuel F. Parker, 
Carlos A. Stowell, 
Edwin W. Weston, 
Levi F. Wilder, 
Corp. William E. Willard, 
Samuel P. Woodward, 
Edward M. Ailes, 
John Browe, 
Heman Dole, 
Eli Faneuf , 
Charles W. Gleason, 
John Graves, Jr., 
David Johnson, 
Carroli V. Kenyon, 
Curtis W. Ruscoe, 

Captured. Died. 

June 23, 1864. Florence, Oct. 20. 1864. 

" 18, " 
Dec. 18, " 
" Andersonville, Aug. 26, " 

Dec. 19, " 
" Charleston, Sept. 20, " 

" Andersonville, Aug. 27, " 

" 13, " 
" " " 14, " 

" Charleston, Jan. 20, 1865. 

" Andersonville, Sept. 9, 1864. 

Charleston, Feb. 20, 1865. 
" On transport, Dec. 20, 1864. 

Jan. 7, 1865. 
" March 15, " 

" Supposed dead. 


Captured. Died. 

June 23, 1864. Andersonville, Sept. 6, 1864. 

Charleston, "28, " 

" In prison. 

Andersonville, Oct. 5, 1864. 

" Goldsboro, Feb. 25, 1865. 

" Florence, Dec. 24, 1861. 

" Jan. 1, 1865 

'* In prison. 


" Andersonville, Sept. 16, 1864. 

" Florence, Oct. 24, " 

" In prison. 

" Florence, Oct. 26, 1864. 

" In prison. 

" In prison, Sept. i6 1864. 

" Andersonville, Aug 2, ' 

' Charleston. Oct. 2, " 

'* Andersonville, Aug. 15, " 

" Florence, Dec. 25, " 

*' Andersonville, Oct. 15, " 

'* In prison. 

" Jan. 5, 1865. 

" Andersonville, Sept. 11, 1864. 

" " Oct. 28, " 
Aug. 3, " 

•* Goldsboro. 

** Andersonville, Sept. 3, " 




Edward F. Smith, 
Jamc'3 A. Stone, 
Jarcd Blanchard, Jr. 
Carlos C. Hinkley, 
Charles Morey, 

Alfred Jacobs, 

Sergt. Thomas Babccck, 
William II. Stockman, 
Willard Fox, 
Keyes Howard, 
Merritt Ingalls, 
J>seph Lapoint, 
Bartuey Lawrence, 
Peter McKanna, 
Calvin J. Rowley, 
Henry B. Tobias, 
William Barton, 
George W. Carter, 
Asa J. Cbesley, 
George E. Frost, 
James Ilersey, 
Joseph Holmes, 
John W. Johnson, 
Charles Knight, 
Reno Laclaire, 
Jonathan M. Roberts, 
Horace F. Ross, 
Byron Wheeler, 
Kingsley L. Winslow, 
Joseph Fernette, 
Joseph H. Monroe, 
Charles Scott, 

William E. Owen, 
Sardis Birchard, 
Harrison R. Powers, 
James E. Miller, 
Horace B. Foster, 

Captured. Died. 

June 23, 1864. Danville, Oct. 8, 1864. 

" Andersonville, Aug. 17, " 

" Supposed dead. 

II till 

" Dec. 20, 1864. 



June 23. 1864 

Danville, Sept. 20, 1864. 


. Andersonville, Nov. 5. 1864. 
Mil'on, Ga., Oct. 7, 
Andersonville, Sept. 7, 
Oct. 15, 
Dec. 9, 
Nov. 20, 
Florence, Apr. 10, 1865. 
Millen, Nov. 15, 1864. 
Raleigh, N. C, Apr. 21, I860. 
Millen, Nov. 3, 1864. 
Andersonville, Sept. 5, 
Oct. 25, 
Aug. 9, 
" Oct. 12, 

" Nov. 25, 

" 2, 
" Oct. 1, 

" Aug. 20, 

Florence, Feb. 15, 1865. 
Andersonville, Sept. 7 1864. 
" 27 " 
''■ Nov. .S, " 

Oct 5, " 
Dec. 23, " 
Danville, Jan. 23, 1865. 
Supposed dead. 


June 23, 1864. 

Millen, Oct. 1. 1864. 
Andersonville, Aug. 20, ' ' 
Florence, Nov. 27, " 
Feb. 16, 1865. 
Andersonville, Sept. 8, 1804. 






Edward Hyde, 

June 23, 

1864. Andersonville, Aug. 17, 1864. 

Daniel Adams, 


" 2, " 

Simeon S Bean, 


(1 (1 

Tuffel Brother, 


Dec. 1., " 

Albert S. Butler, 


" 6, " 

Philip Camere, 


" Aug. 24, " 

William H Colvin, 


Millen, Oct. 18, " 

Eben. F. Cross, 


Andersonville, Nov. 2, " 

John J. Horan. 


Feb, 6, 1865. 

Clement Lizotte, 


Scp^. 10, 1864. 

William Martin, 


Supposed dead. 

George W. H. Martindale, 


" " 

Lyman Mason, 


Savannah, 1864 

Henry C. Taylor, 

t 1 

Andersonville, Sept. 20, " 

George Turner, 



George W. Ransom, 


Andersonville, Aug. 23, 1864. 

Asa L. Munroe, 


Feb. 10, 1865. 

Antoine Rivers, 


• Savannah. 





John Clark, 

May 26, 


Andersonville, Aug. 31, 1864 

Warren Colburn, 

June 23, 


Oct. 4, •' 

Meigs K. Stoddard, 

Oct. 19, 


In prison, Nov. 19, " 

The battles and engagements in which tlie Eleventh 
regiment took part were as follows : 


Spottsylvania, May 15 to 18, 1864. 

Cold Harbor, - - June 1 to 12, 1864. 

Petersburg, June 18, 1864. 

Weldon Railroad, June 23, 1864. 

Washington, ---..-- - - July 11, 1864. 

Charlestown, Aug. 21, 1864. 

Gilbert's Ford, - - Sept. 13, 1864. 

Opequon, - • - Sept. 19, 1864. 

Fisher's Hill, - - - - . . . Sept. 21 and 22, 1864. 

Cedar Creek, - - - Oct. 19, 1864. 

Petersburg, March 25 and 27, 1865. 

Petersburg, - April 2, 1865. 


The final statement of the regiment is as follows : 

Original members — com. ofBcers, 42 ; enlisted men, 1273; total 1315 


PromoLlon from other regiments — com. officers 3 

Transfer from other regiments — enlisted men 26 

Recruits — appointed com. ofBcers, 5 ; enlisted men, 971 ; total 976 

Total gain 1005 

Aggregate 2320 


Promotion to other regiments — com. officers, 3 ; to U. S. army — com. 

officers, 2 ; enlisted men, 9 ; total 14 

Transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps, navy, other regiments, and 

organizations of other states — com. officer, 1 ; enlisted men, 109 ; 

total 110 

Killed in action— com. officers, 5 ; enlisted men, G4 ; total 69 

Died of wounds— com. officers. 3 ; enlisted men, 83; total 86 

Died of disease — com. officers, 1; enlisted men, 212; total 213 

Died (unwounded) in Confederate prisons — com. officers, 2 ; enlisted 

men, 165; from accident, 7; total 174 

Total of deaths 542 

Honorably discharged — com. officers, resigned, 15 ; for wounds and 

disability, 20;— enlisted men, for wounds, 67 ; for disability, 229 ; 

paroled prisoner, 1; total 332 

Dishonorably discharged — com. officers, 3 ; enlisted men, 6 ; total 9 

Total discharged 341 

Deserted, 143; dropped from rolls, 1 ; unaccounted for, 4; total 148 

Total loss 1155 

Mustered out — com. officers, 74 ; enlisted men, 1091 ; total 1165 

Aggregate .... 3320 

Total wounded 418 




The Militia Called out— Organizations of the Twelfth, Thirteenth, Four- 
teenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Regiments— Rendezvous at Brattle- 
boro— Departure for Washington— Organization of the Second Vermont 
Brigade— Ordered into Virginia— Camp Vermont— General Stoughton 
assumes Command — Duty in the Defenses of Washington — Repulse of 
Stuart's Cavalry from Fairfax Court House — Winter Quarters at Fair- 
fax Station and Wolf Run Shoals— Organization of Twenty-Second 
Army Corps— Capture of General Stoughton — Fifteenth and Sixteenth 
Regiments move to Union Mills, and the Thirteenth to Occoquan — 
General Stannard assumes Command — Spring Campaign of 1863 — 
Reopening and Guarding the Orange and Alexandria Railroad — Mosby 
Captures and Burns a Train— Opening Movements of the Gettysburg 
Campaign — Brigade joins the Army of the Potomac — Assigned to 
First Army Corps — March to Gettysburg— Battle of Gettysburg — Pur- 
suit of Lee to the Potomac — Expiration of Term of Service — Departure 
for Home and Muster Out. 

Roused by the reverses of the Peninsular campaign to 
a fuller realization of the magnitude of its task, the Govern- 
ment, in July and August, 1862, was making extraordinary 
efforts to place a force in the field sufficient to speedily over- 
whelm all resistance to the national authority. It was not 
enough that on the 1st of July the President had issued his 
call for 300,000 three years men. Congress, a few days 
later, passed an act authorizing him to call out the entire 
militia of the States, adding provisions for filling the quotas, 
if necessary, by conscription — the method by which the Con- 
federacy had for six months been filling its armies. Under 
this act, on the 4th of August, Mr. Lincoln issued a call for 
300,000 militia to serve for nine months, within which time 
the rebellion was to be crushed. When this new call came 
the State authorities of Vermont were busy in arming and 


equipping tlie Tenth and Eleventh regiments, and were- 
hoping that when these had been sent out and the other regi- 
ments filled by volunteers in numbers sufficient to raise the 
State's quota of three years men, they could have a respite 
from the work of recruiting troops ; but they responded to 
the new demand with undiminished spirit. On the 10th of 
August the instructions of the Secretary of War, fixing Ver- 
mont's quota of the militia at 4,898 men, were received by 
Governor Holbrook, and on the next day he issued a general 
order for a new enrollment of the militia of Vermont, com- 
prising all able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45 
years, and on the day following an order — General Order 
No. 12, of August 12, 1862 — calling into active service all 
the militia companies in the State. 

Twenty-two such companies appeared upon the State 
roster. Ten of these had seen three months' service in the 
First regiment, but so many of the members of these com- 
panies had subsequently re-enlisted in the three j-ears regi- 
ments, that but six companies had been able to preserve their 
organizations, and these were much reduced in numbers. Of 
the other companies, some had formally disbanded, and 
some, though existing on paper, had ceased to exist in fact. 
Under the circumstances only thirteen companies were able 
to respond to the call. These were the Howard Guards of 
Burlington,' West Windsor Guards, Allen Greys of Brandon, 
Saxton's Biver Light Infantry of Bockingham, Woodstock 
Light Infantry, Bradford Guards, Butland Light Guard, Tun- 
bridge Light Infantry, Bansom Guards of St. Albans, New 
England Guards of Northfield, Emmett Giiards of Burlington, 
Lafayette Artillery of Calais, and Frontier Guards of Cov- 

On the 13tli of August a third order — General Order 
No. 13, — called for volunteers for nine months to fill the 

' This company was the first to respond. It was filled and organized 
for service on the 23d of August. 


quota. The order stated that no recruiting officers would be 
appointed, but that the town officers and patriotic citizens 
would be expected to enlist the men and form the com- 
panies. " The commander-in-chief," said the order, " confi- 
dently expects that before the time for a legal draft shall 
arrive, every man necessary to complete the requisition upon 
the State will be furnished ; and he trusts to the people of the 
State to carry out his wishes, in their own way, without the 
intervention of recruiting officers or other official agencies." 

Thirty companies were enlisted, organized and accepted 
under this order, as follows : 

The Montpelier company, from Montpelier Waterbury, Barre, Berlin, 
Middlesex and other towns ; organized August 25th. 

The Moretown company, from Waitsfield, Warren, Fayston, Duxbury, 
Moretown and Middlesex ; organized August 25th. 

The Bethel company, from Bethel, Stockbridge, Rochester, Royalton 
and Pittsfield ; organized August 26th. 

The Bennington company, from Bennington, Pownal and Woodford; 
organized August 27th. 

The Wallingford company, from Danby, Pawlet, Middletown, Claren- 
don, Wallingford, Shrewsbury, Tinmouth and other towns ; organized 
August 27th. 

The Brattleboro company, from Brattleboro, Marlboro, Putney, Dum. 
merston, Guilford and Westminster ; organized August 28th. 

The Manchester company, from Manchester, Rupert, Winhall, Sun- 
derland, Arlington and Dorset ; organized August 28th. 

The St. Johnsbury company, from St. Johnsbury, Waterford, Bamet, 
Kirby, Concord and Ryegate ; organized August 28th. 

The East Montpelier company, raised in East Montpelier, Berlin, 
Calais, Marshfield, Worcester, Plainfield and Orange ; organized August 

The Ludlow company, from Ludlow, Plymouth, Andover, Weston, 
Landgrove, Cavendish, and other towns ; organized August 29th. 

The Shoreham company, from Shoreham, Cornwall, Bridport, Benson, 
Orwell, and other towns ; organized August 29th. 

The Townshend company, from Wardsboro, Londonderry, Windham, 
Grafton, Townshend and Jamaica ; organized August 29th. 

The Middlebury company, from Middlebury, Salisbury, Addison, 
Cornwall, Whiting, Shoreham, Weybridge, Ripton, and other towns; or- 
ganized August 30th. 

The West Fairlee company, from Vershire, Thetford, Strafford, West 
Fairlee and Washington ; organized August 30th. 

The Springfield company, from Springfield, Chester, Weathersfield, 
and Reading ; organized Sept. 1st. 


The Barton company, from Barton, Irasburgh, Sutton, Albany, Crafts- 
bury, Greensboro, Brownington, Westmore and Glover; organized Sept. 3d. 

The Castleton Company, from Castleton, Hubbardton, Fairhaven, 
Poultaey and West Haven ; organized Sept. 3d. 

The Wilmington company, from Wilmington, Whitingham, Dover, 
Searsburgh and Halifax; organized Sept. 3d. 

The Barnard company, from Barnard, Pomfret, Sharon, Bridgewater 
and Hartford ; organized Sept. 4th. 

The Colchester company, from Colchester, Milton and other towns; 
organized Sept. 6th. 

The Bristol company, from Bristol, Starksboro, Monkton, New Haven, 
Hinesburgh and other towns ; organized Sept. 8th. 

The Danville company, from Danville, Hardwick and Walden ; or- 
ganized Sept. 8th. 

The Morristown company, from Morristown, Stowe, Cambridge, Eden, 
Wolcott, Johnson and Westford ; organized Sept. 8th. 

The Richmond company, from Jericho, Underbill, Essex, St. George, 
Bolton, Williston, Huntington, Richmond and Starksboro ; organized 
Sept. 10th. 

The Rutland company, from Rutland, Sherburne, Mendon, Chittenden, 
Pittsfield, Mount Holly, Ira and other towns; organized Sept. 10th. 

The West Randolph company, from Northfield, Brookfield and Ran- 
dolph ; organized Sept. 11th. 

The Highgate company, from Swanton, Highgate, Franklin, Grand 
Isle, Alburgh, North Hero, South Hero and other towns ; organized Sept. 

The Bakersfield company, from Berkshire, Bakersfield, Enosburgh, 
Richford, Montgomery and other towns ; organized Sept. 15th. 

The Chester company, from Springfield, Baltimore, Weathersfield, 
Grafton, Cavendish, Norwich and Chester; organized Sept. 15th. 

The Wait's River company, 'from Barre, Orange, Topsham, Newbury, 
Groton, Corinth, Washington, Bradford and other towns ; organized Sept. 

Within a month forty-three companies, comprising about 
4,000 men, were organized and accepted ; and by the 20th of 
September seven additional companies tendered themselves, 
so that the qnota of militia was filled by voluntary enlist- 
ments.* These seven companies were as follows : 

The Island Pond company, raised in Brighton, Holland, Morgan, 
Newark, Burke, Lunenburgh, Canaan, East Haven, Lemington, Charles- 
ton, Brunswick and Maidstone ; organized September 15th. 

' It is true that drafts were ordered in a few towns, by which forty or 
fifty men were drawn ; but the men so drawn at once enlisted, and, they 
were enrolled as volunteers, and not as conscripts. 


The Vergennes company, raised in Charlotte, Addison, Vergennes, 
Ferrisburgh, New Haven, Huntington, Goshen, Panton and Granville; 
organized September 16th. 

The Mclndoe's Falls company, raised in Barnet, Peacham, Ryegate, 
Danville, Coventry, Greensboro, Barton, Waterford and St. Johnsbury; 
organized September 16th. 

The Lyndon company, raised in Shefheld, Wheelock, Lyndon, Sutton, 
Glover, Guildhall, Kirby and Victory ; organized September 17th. 

The Danby company, raised in Danby, Pownal, Rupert, Sandgate, 
Shaftsbury, Stamford, Wallingford, Wells, Poultney and other tovpns, 
organized September 18th. 

The Felchville company, raised in Reading, Hartford, Hartland, Wes- 
ton, Royalton, Barnard, Sharon, Stockbiidge, Windsor and other towns ; 
organized September 18th. 

The Williamstown company, raised in Newfane, Putney, Guilford, 
Peru, Stratton, Readsboro, Dummerston, Brookline, Searsburgh, Wind- 
ham, Wardsboro, Marlboro, Jamaica and other towns ; organized Septem- 
ber 20th. 

Among the men so enlisting were many men of liigli 
patriotic purpose, whose professional and civil responsibilities 
had not permitted them to engage for a three years' term in 
the army ; and the nine months regiments thus comprised 
an unusual proportion of men of liberal education and 
recognized standing. 

The fifty companies were organized into regiments by 
Adjutant General Washburn, and rendezvoused at Brattle- 
boro as soon as the barracks furnished by the United States 
were ready for occupation. As these were militia regiments, 
they were officered in accordance with the State Constitution 
— the companies electing the company officers ; the company 
officers nominating the field officers, who were thereupon 
commissioned by the Governor ; and the field officers select- 
ing the regimental staff. 




The Twelfth regiment comprised the first ten of the thir- 
teen companies which first responded to the new call, and 
was, in a sense, a revival of the First regiment, seven of its 
companies, viz., B, C, E, F, G, H and K, having been com- 
panies of the First, though with different company ofl&cers 
and for the most part different members. The field officers 
were elected at a meeting of the line officers, held at Bellows 
Falls, September 19th, and the regiment was organized as 
follows : 

Colonel — Asa P. Blunt, St. Johnsbury. 
Lieut. Colonel — Roswell Farnham, Bradford- 
Major — Levi G. Kingsley, Rutland.' 
Adjutant — Roswell C. Vaughan, St. Johnsbury. 
Quartermaster — Harry Brownson, Rutland. 
Burgeon — Benjamin F. Ketchum, Manchester. 
Assistant Surgeon — Granville P. Conn, Richmond. 
Chaplain — Rev. Lewis O. Brastow, St. Johnsbury. 

Company A, West Windsor Guards, Captain Charles L. Savage. 

" B, Woodstock Light Infantry, " Ora Paul, Jr. 

" C, Howard Guards, " Lemuel W. Page. 

" D, Tunbridge Light Infantry, " David F. Cole. 

*' E, Ransom Guards, " Hamilton S. Gilbert. 

" F, New England Guards, " Darius Thomas. 

" G, Allen Greys, " Ebenezer J. Ormsbee. 

'• H, Bradford Guards, " Preston S. Chamberlain. 

" I, Saxton's River Light Infantry " Carlton H. Roundy. 

" K, Rutland Light Guard, " Walter C. Landon. 

The field officers of the Twelfth had all seen service. 
Colonel Blunt, when the war broke out, held a responsible 
position in the employ of the great manufacturing firm of E. 
& T. Fairbanks of St. Johnsbury. He went out as adjutant 
of the Third regiment in July, 1861, and five months after 
was promoted to the lieutenant-colonelcy of the Sixth, in 
which he served with credit for a year. He was now 34 years 

' Captain N. T. Sprague, of Brandon, was chosen major; but having 
declined the office, under medical advice, Captain Kingsley was chosen in 
his place. 


of age, straight and soldierly, a fine horseman, apt in mili- 
tary duties and prompt and spirited in command." He 
took hold with spirit of the work of drilling and disciplining 
the regiment, and at once established himself in the respect 
and confidence of the officers and men. 

Lieut. Colonel Farnham was of patriotic lineage, his 
grandfather on the mother's side having fought at Lexing- 
ton and Bunker Hill. He was a graduate of the University of 
Vermont, and when the war broke out was practicing his pro- 
fession, of the law, in Bradford, with promise of prominence 
and usefulness, which was fully borne out by his subsequent 
career in civil life, as lawyer, legislator, and Governor of the 
comna onwealth. He was State's attorney of Orange County 
and captain of the Bradford Guards when appointed lieuten- 
ant cijlonel of the Twelfth. He had learned military duty as 
lieutonant of the Bradford company of the First regiment, 
under Colonel Phelps, and was a highly intelligent, patriotic 
and efficient officer. 

Major Kingsley was captain of the Rutland Light Guard 
when elected major. He had also seen service as a lieuten- 
ant of the Rutland company in the First regiment, and was 
a faj thful, trusty and competent soldier. 

The staff were generally new in their duties. Surgeon 
Ketchum had recently established himself in the practice of 
his profession in Manchester. Assistant Surgeon Conn was 
a practicing physician in Richmond. An additional assistant 
surgeon was appointed in January, 1863, in the person of Dr. 
Oliver E. Ross, of Cornwall. Chaplain Brastow was one of 
the pastors of the two Congregational churches in St. Johns- 
bury, who left their pulpits to accept chaplaincies in the 

' After the close of his service with the Twelfth, Colonel Blunt entered 
the Regular Amy as Captain and A. Q. M. , held highly responsible posi- 
tions in the quartermaster's department during the war, and was promoted 
to be colonel and brevet brigadier general of volunteers, for faithful and 
meritorious services. He was subsequently for many years superintendent 
of the United Sttvtes military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 


Second brigade, and returned to them after their term of 
service expired. He was an earnest and faithful chaplain. 

A considerable proportion of the line and non-commis- 
sioned officers had seen service in tlie First and other regi- 

September 25th, the regiment went into camp at Brat- 
tleboro, designated as "Camp Lincoln." Colonel E. H. 
Stoughton, of the Fourth Vermont, was commandant of the 
post, having been taken from his regiment under the under- 
standing that after drilling the new regiments while in the 
State he should command the brigade when it took the field. 

On the morning of October 4th the regiment was reviewed 
and inspected by Governor Holbrook, Adjutant General 
Washburn, Q. M. Gen. Davis and Colonel Stoughton. On 
the afternoon of the same day it was mustered into the ser- 
vice of the United States by Major William Austine, U. S. 
A., and on the evening of the 7th, it left Brattleboro for 
Washington, spent the night in the cars, and at five o'clock 
next morning took steamer at New Haven for Jersey City, 
where it had soup about noon. It stopped in Philadelphia 
for supper, and at 9 p. M. arrived at Washington and was 
quartered for the night in the " Soldiers' Best." Next morn- 
ing the regiment went into camp on Capitol Hill, where it 
was brigaded provisionally with the Twenty-fifth and 
Twenty-seventh New Jersey (nine months) regiments, under 
command of Colonel Derrom of the Twenty-fifth New Jersey. 
The brigade was attached to General Casey's Division of 
the, Reserve Army Corps for the defense of Washington, 
and during its stay of three weeks on East Capitol Hill, it 
took part in various reviews, in which the regiinent acqiiitted 
itself so well as to win special complimentary notice from 
the general commanding. 

On the 30th of October, the other regiraents having 
arrived at Washington, the five nine months regiments were 
brigaded together under the temporary command of Colonel 


Blunt. The subsequent record of the Twelfth forms part of 
the history of the Second brigade. 


The Thirteenth regiment comprised two of the thirteen 
companies of uniform militia, who first responded to Order 
No. 12 — viz., the Emmett Guards of Burlington, and the 
" Lafayette Artillery " of Calais — with eight of the companies 
of volunteer militia raised under General Order No. 13. 
On the 24tli of October the company officers met at Mont- 
pelier and elected the field officers. The regiment was organ- 
ized and officered as follows : 

Colonel — Francis V. Randall, Montpelier. 
Lieut. Colonel — Andrew C. Brown, Montpelier. 
Major — Lawrence D. Clark, Ilighgate. 
Adjutant — Oiloff H. Whitney, Franklin. 
Quartermaster — Leonard F. Aldrich, Barre. 
Surgeon — Dr. George Nichols, Northfield. 
Assistant Surgeon — Dr. John B. Craudall, Berlin. 
Chaplain — Rev. Joseph Sargent, Williston. 

Company A, Emmett Guards, Captain John Lonergan. 

" B, Moretown Company, " Oscar C. Wilder. 

" C, East Montpelier Company, " Lewis L. Coburn. 

" D, Colchester Company, " William D. Munson. 

' ' E, Morristown Company, ' ' Joseph J. Boynton. 

" F, Richmond Company, " John L. Yale. 

" G, Bakersfield Company, " Marvin White. 

" H, Lafayette Artillery, " William V. Peck. 

" I, Montpelier Company, " John M. Thacher. 

" K, Highgate Company, " George S. Blake. 

The regiment was well officered. Its colonel, Francis 
Y. Bandall, was a native of Braintree. He had been a prom- 
inent citizen, having held the office of State's attorney of 
AYashington county and thrice represented the town of Box- 
bury in the Legislature. When the war broke out he was a 
lawyer in active practice in Montpelier. He recruited com- 
pany F of the Second regiment and was elected its captain in 


May, 1861, and had seen fifteen months' service in the First 
Vermont brigade, vrhen he was elected colonel of the Thir- 
teenth. He was in his 38th year, soldierly in bearing, 
blunt of speech, of genial temperament, and made a popular 
and efficient colonel/ 

liieut. Colonel Brown had been connected with the 
Montpelier Watchynan as assistant editor, and was captain 
of the Montpelier company of militia when elected. He had 
seen no previous military service. 

Major Clark was captain of the first company of the 
First regiment, throughout its term of service, being 48 years 
old and the oldest officer in the line when he responded to 
the first call for troops. Led by high patriotism, he now 
returned to the service at the age of fifty, and was the oldest 
commissioned officer in the Second brigade. 

Adjutant TThitney had served with credit in the ranks of 
company C of the First- regiment. Quartermaster Aldrich 
was a Barre merchant, and proved a competent officer. 
Surgeon Xichols was a graduate of the TVoodstock Medical 
College, and a physician in Northfield, whose genial tempera- 
ment and care for the men won him their cordial affection. 
He became prominent, after the war, in civil life, as Secretary 
of State of the State of Termont. Assistant Surgeon Cran- 
dall had been hospital steward of the Sixth regiment, and 
gained valuable experience in the field. Chaplain Sargent 
■was a Universal ist minister of "Williston. He died, in camp, 
near Occoquan, Ya., of disease, April 20, 1863. 

Several changes in the field and staff occurred during 
the term of service of the regiment. Lieut. Colonel Brown 
resigned in May, 1863, and was succeeded by Captain Wm. 
D. Munson, of company D, who was a graduate of Norwich 
University, and a popular officer. Major Clark resigned in 

' After the close of the war Colonel Randall resumed the practice of 
Ma profession for a time, at Montpelier, and subsequently purchased the 
hotel at Northfield Centre, where he resided when, on the 1st of March, 
1885, he died from a stroke of apoplexy. 


March, 1863, iu impaired liealtli, and was succeeded by 
Captain Joseph J. Boynton, of company C. Adjutant Whit- 
ney was promoted, January, 1863, to the captaincy of com- 
pany H, and was succeeded as adjutant by Lieutenant 
James S. Peck of company I, who was a graduate of the 
University of Vermont, a man of many genial qualities, and 
a thoroughly competent officer.' Quartermaster Aldrich Re- 
signed, iu December, in consequence of serious illness, and 
was succeeded by Quartermaster-Sergeant Nelson A. Taylor 
of Montpelier. 

The regiment went into camp at Brattleboro on the 29th 
of September. On the 1st of October it received its arms, 
Springfield rifles, and had its first battalion drill. The regi- 
ment was mustered in by Major Austine, on the 8th of 
October, with 953 officers and men, and left Washington in 
the afternoon of Saturday, the 11th, by the usual route by 
way of New Haven and Jersey City. 

It marched through Baltimore in the night, in a drench- 
ing rain, and after the usual delays and a tedious ride of 
eight hours in open cars, reached Washington in the after- 
noon of the loth. The next day the regiment went into 
camp — at first in shelter-tents, for which A tents were soon 
substituted — on East Capitol Hill, about half a mile west of 
the camp of the Twelfth, with which and the two New 
Jersey regiments already mentioned it was temporarily 
brigaded. Its energetic colonel soon brought his command 
into a condition of proficiency which compared favorably 
with that of many regiments which had been under longer 
discipline, and company drill in the forenoon, regimental 
drill in the afternoon, and brigade drills and reviews twice 
a woek, gave the men plenty to do. 

The first death in the regiment took place on the 26th, 
in the regimental hospital,^ and on the 29th, Lieutenant 

' Subsequently Adjutant General of the State from 1872 to 1881. 
'^ Isaac N. Brooks of company E, a boy of eighteen years. 


Nathaniel Jones, Jr., of company B, died of typhoid fever. 
In general, however, the health of the regiment was excellent 
during its stay on Capitol Hill. 

The order consolidating the Yermont regiments into a 
brigade, was read at dress parade on the evening of October 
27th and was received with cheers. On the 30th the regi- 
ment broke camp and marched across Long Bridge into 
Yii'ginia. Its subsequent service forms a notable part of the 
history of the Second Brigade. 


The companies which formed the Fourteenth regiment 
were recruited in the counties of Addison, Piutland and Ben- 
nington. The company officers met at Rutland on the 25th 
of September, and elected the field officers ; and when the 
regimental staff had been appointed the list stood as follows : 

Colonel— William T. Nichols, Rutland. 
Lieut. Colonel— Charles W. Rose, Middlebury. 
Major— Nathaniel B. Hall, Bennington. 
Adjutant— Harrison Prindle, Manchester. 
Quartermaster— Charles Field, Dorset. 
Surgeon— Edwin 11. Sprague, Middlebury. 
Assistant Surgeon— Lucretius D. Ross, Poultney. 
Chaplain— Rev. William S. Smart, Benson. 

Company A, Bennington Company Captain Ransom O. Gore. 

" B, Wallingford " " John C. Thompson. 

*' C, Manchester " " Josiah B. Munson. 

D, Shoreham " " Charles E. Abell. 

" E, Middlebury " " Edwin Rich 

" F, Castleton " " Joseph Jennings. 

" G.Bristol " " Noble F. Dun shee. 

" H, Rutland " " " Walter C. Dunton. 

" I, Vergennes " " Solomon T. Allen, 

*« K, Danby " " Alonzo N. Colvin. 

Colonel Nichols was one of the three Vermont colonels 
whose first commission was that of colonel. In January, 
1861, he was a young lawyer in Eutland, and was a member of 


the Rutland Light Guard when Captain Ripley of that com- 
pany called its members together, three months before Sum- 
ter was fired on, to ascertain how many would agree to take 
the field to maintain the Constitution and protect the 
National Capital. Private Nichols w^as the first to respond 
and the speech in which he set forth tlie duty of the patriot 
in such a crisis, was long remembered. He served with the 
First regiment, was under fire at Big Bethel, and returning 
home was elected to represent the town of Rutland in the 
Legislature of 1861, of which he was a prominent member. 
He had been re-elected representative of Rutland in Sep- 
tember, 1862, when the command of the Fourteenth regi- 
ment was tendered to and accepted by him ; and dropping 
all civil duties he devoted himself anew to the armed de- 
fense of his country. He was now 33 years old. He took 
hold of the drill and discipline of his regiment with charac- 
teristic energy and proved himself a prompt and eflicient 

Lieut. Colonel Rose was first lieutenant of the Middle- 
bury company of the First regiment in the spring of 1861 ; 
returned to the service as captain of company B of the Fifth 
regiment in September of that year ; was wounded at Sav- 
age's Station in June, 1862; and noAv, at 24 years of age, 
was promoted to the lieutenant colonelcy of the Fourteenth, 
bringing to the position, experience and recognized capacity. 

Major Hall was a son of Hon. Hiland Hall, long prom- 
inent in the annals of Vermont as Judge, Congressman, 
Governor and historian. He was a lawyer in successful 
practice, and State's attorney of. Bennington county, when 
elected major. He was a highly patriotic and efiicient ofiicer. 

Adjutant Prindle had had no previous military experi- 
ence. Quartermaster Field was also new in military duties, 

' After the war Colonel Nichols removed his residence to Maywood, 
111. , near Chicago, where he was a leading citizen and property owner, 
and where he died, in April, 1882. 


but speedily demonstrated his fitness for liis responsible 
office. Surgeon Sprague was discharged, after a three weeks' 
trial, for incompetency^ — the onh' case of the kind on record 
among the Vermont surgeons — and was succeeded by Dr. 
Adrian T. Woodward of Brandon, who was an able and 
acceptable surgeon. Assistant Surgeon Koss was a compe- 
tent physician. Chaplain Smart was the pastor of the Con- 
gregational Church in Benson, which gave him leave of 
absence for nine months, and continued his salarj' while he 
■was in the army. He made an excellent chaplain. Dr. A. 
INl. Plant of Burlington, was appointed second assistant 
surgeon in January, 18G3. 

The regiment went into camp at Brattleboro on the 6th 
of October, and was at first armed with old muskets, which 
were subsequently replaced by Austrian rifles. 

On the 21st, the regiment was reviewed, with the Fif- 
teenth and Sixteenth regiments, by Governor Holbrook, 
accompanied by General Phelps and Colonel Stoughton, 
in the presence of throngs of spectators. In the afternoon of 
the same day it was mustered into the United States service, 
with 952 officers and men. It left the State on the 22d of 
October, going by rail to New Haven ; thence by steamer 
"Continental" to New York; thence by two steamboats to 
Perth Amboy, N. J., and thence by a cold night ride by rail, 
via Camden and Philadelphia, to Washington, where it 
arrived at noon of the 25tli. The day was hot, and three 
men were prostrated by sunstroke while standing in the line. 
In the evening of the same day it marched seven miles — its 
first march of any distance with knapsacks — via Chain 
Bridge to " Camp Chase," on Arlington Heights, where it 
was temporarily brigaded with some Maine troops. 

On the 28tli, the regiment, with the brigade, was re- 
viewed by General Casey; and, after a parade lasting five 
hours, re-crossed the river, and marched to Capitol Hill, 
Washington, where it joined the three Vermont regiments 


already there, and became a part of the Second Vermont 


The companies which constituted the Fifteenth regiment 
"were recruited in towns in Caledonia, Orleans, Orange and 
Windsor counties, one of the number, the Frontier Guards of 
Coventry, being one of the thirteen existing companies of 
uniform militia which responded to the President's call of 
August 4th. 

The election of field officers took place at St. Johnsbury, 

September 26th, and the regimental staff was soon after 

announced. The field, staff and company commanders were 

as follows : 

Colonel — Redfield Proctor, Cavendish. 
Lieut. Colonel — William W. Grout, Barton. 
Major — Charles F. Spaulding, St. Johnsbury. 
Adjutant — J. Monroe Poland, Montpelier. 
Quartermaster — Putnam D. McMillan, Danville. 
Surgeon — Carleton P. Frost, St. Johnsbury. 
Assistant Surgeon— Gates P. Bullard, St. Johnsbury. 
Chaplain— Rev. Ephraim C. Cummings, St. Johnsbury. 

Co- pany A, West Fairlee Company, Captain Horace E. Brown. 

B, Danville " " James M. Ayer. 

C, West Randolph " " Cornelius N. Carpenter. 

D, Wait's River " " Charles G. French. 

E, Island Pond " " Warren Noyes. 

F, McTndoe's Falls " " Xerxes C. Stevens. 

G, Lyndon " " Stephen McGaffey. 
H, Frontier Guards " " Riley E. Wright. 

], Barton " " Wm. H. Johnson. 

K, St. Johnsbury " " George B. Woodward. 

Colonel Proctor was of revolutionary parentage. His 
grandfather. Captain Leonard Proctor, fought under Wash- 
ington at Trenton and Monmouth and on other battlefields 
of the revolution, and after the close of the struggle for 
American independence, came to Vermont as one of the 


pioneers and founders of the town of Cavendish. Colonel 
Proctor was born in Proctorsville, in tliat town, lie gradu- 
ated at Dartmouth college and at the Albany law school, 
commenced practice as a lawyer in 1859, and when the war 
broke out was a law partner of his cousin, Judge Isaac F. 
Eedfield, of national eminence in his profession, in Boston. 
Belinquishing his flattering prospects of professional suc- 
cess, he entered the army as quartermaster of the Third 
Vermont regiment. He was for a time on the staff of Gen- 
eral William F, Smith, and was then appointed Major of the 
Fifth regiment. After nine months' service with that regi- 
ment he resigned, in consequence of serious and prolonged 
iUness- Now, with restored health, he was again ready for 
service. Adding military experience and aptitude to his 
energy, industry, power of organization and command and 
strong sense — qualities which subsequently gave him emin- 
ence as representative, State senator, lieutenant governor 
and governor of Vermont — he made one of the best colonels 
in the service. 

Lieut. Colonel Grout was a young lawyer of the Orleans 
county bar, who, at 26 years of age, had already made his 
mark, and had just received the republican nomination for 
State's attorney of that county. This he declined at that time 
in consequence of his purpose to enter the army ; but the 
office was subsequently held by him, as well as those of 
town representative, State senator, and representative in 
Congress, which kept him almost contiuuoiisly in the civil 
service of the State and nation after the close of the war. 
He had enlisted in the Barton company and had been elected 
as its captain, before his election as lieutenant colonel, a po- 
sition to which he brought enthusiasm, industry and ability. 

Major Spaulding was a business man of St. Johnsbury, 
and was captain of the militia company recruited in that 
town, when elected major. 

Adjutant Poland was the eldest son of Hon, Joseph 


Poland of Montpelier. He had just graduated from the 
TJniversitj of Vermont, when he enlisted and was appointed 
a sergeant in the Montpelier company of the Thirteenth, in 
which his ability had recommended him for the higher posi- 
tion. Chaplain Cummings was the pastor of the North Con- 
gregational church of St. Johnsbury, which gave him leave 
of absence to accept the chaplaincy. Surgeon Frost and 
A.ssistant Surgeon Bullard were physicians in established 
practice in St. Johnsbury. The former resigned in May, 
1863, and was succeeded as surgeon by Assistant Surgeon 
Bullard, who added intense patriotism and thorough devo- 
tion to the regiment to high professional ability. 

The regiment went into camp at Brattleboro on the 8th 
of October, occupying the barracks which had been vacated 
by the Twelfth the day before. After two weeks in camp it 
was mustered into the United States service on the 22d of 
October, and left the State on the 23d. The men had the 
usual experiences of greetings along their way, of Philadel- 
phia hospitality, and of delays on the railroads. Arriving in 
"Washington early in the morning of the 26th, it spent a day 
and a night there and then went to Alexandria, to join 
the Second brigade of Casey's division, consisting of the 
rourteenth Vermont and some Maine regiments i was re- 
viewed with these by General Casey, and then marched 
back with the Fourteenth to Washington, to join the other 
Vermont regiments composing the Second Vermont brigade. 


The Sixteenth Vermont was composed of companies re- 
cruited in Windsor and Windham counties. 

The election of field officers took place at Bellows Falls 


on the 27th of September, and the held, staff and company 
oflScers were as follows : 

Colonel— Wheelock G. Veazey, Springfield. 
Lieut. Colonel— Charles Ciimmings, Brattleboro. 
Mapr — William Rounds, Chester. 
Adjutant— Jabez D. Bridgman, Rockingham, 
Quartermaster— James G. Henry, Royalton. 
Surgeon — Castanus B. Park, Jr., Grafton. 
Assistant Surgeon— George Bpailord, Windham. 
Chaplain— Rev. Alonzo Webster, Windsor. 

Company A, Bethel Company, Captain Henry A. Eaton. 

" B, Brattleboro " " Robert B. Arms. 

" C, Ludlow " " Asa G. Foster. 

" D, Townshend " " David Ball. 

" E, Springfield " " Alvin C. Mason. 

" F, Wilmington " '* Henry F. Dix. 

" G, Barnard " " Harvey N. Bruce. 

" H.Felchville " " Joseph C. Sawyer. 

" I, Williamsville " " Lyman E. Knapp. 

" K.Chester " " Samuel Hutchinson. 

Colonel Veazey was a native of Brentwood, N. H., a 
graduate of Dartmouth College, and at the opening of the 
war was just commencing practice as a lawyer in Springfield. 
He enlisted under the call for three years men and was 
elected captain of company A of the Third regiment. His 
military genius was early recognized, and within a month 
after he was mustered into the U. S. service he had been 
successively promoted to be major and lieutenant colonel of 
that regiment. He was, for some time in the winter and 
spring of 1862, a member of the staff of Maj. General William 
F. Smith, and during a portion of the Peninsula campaign 
of that summer, was detailed to command the Fifth Ver- 
mont. Thus trained, under masters of the art of war, he 
was a spirited and capable commander. A thorough dis- 
ciplinarian, cool and brave in battle and prompt and zealous 
in every duty, he had the absolute confidence of his regi- 
ment, which he made one of the best in the armj' in drill 
and discipline. His brilliant military reputation was supple- 


mented after the war by a like honorable and distinguished 
record in civil life as a Justice of the Supreme Court of 

Lieut. Colonel Cvimmings was the editor of the Brattle- 
boro Phoenix and had been for years the popular clerk of 
the Vermont House of Representatives. He had enlisted in. 
the Eleventh Vermont, was chosen first lieutenant of com- 
pany E of that regiment at its organization, and a month 
later was elected lieutenant colonel of the Sixteenth. He 
returned to the service, after the muster out of the Six- 
teenth, as lieutenant colonel of the Seventeenth, and was 
killed in battle while commanding that regiment in the 
battle at Poplar Grove church, in front of Petersburg. 

Major Rounds was a lawyer in good standing, of the 
Windsor county bar, a man of sturdy patriotism and sterling 
qualities, staunch and true as steel wherever he was placed. 

Adjutant Bridgman and Quartermaster Henry were men 
of liberal education, and lawyers by profession. Surgeon 
Park was one of the best of surgeons, and subsequently 
served with distinction as surgeon of the Eleventh. He had 
an efficient assistant in Dr. Spafford. Chaplain Webster 
was a Methodist clergyman, holding the office of chaplain of 
the Vermont State prison, and was granted leave of absence 
for nine months by the directors of the prison, to allow him 
to accept his army appointment. 

These officers all remained with the regiment during its 
term of service, except Adjutant Bridgman, who resigned in 
January, 1863. His place was filled by the ajipointment of 
Lieutenant Harland O. Peabody of Andover. A second 
assistant surgeon was added to the staff in January, in the 
person of Dr. Nathaniel G. Brooks, of Acworth, N. H. 

On the 9th of October, the regiment went into camp at 
Brattleboro, where it remained about two weeks, receiving 
meantime its arms and outfit, and taking its first lessons in 
soldier life and discipline. It was mustered into the United 


States service on the 23cl of October, witli 949 officers and 
meu, aud left the State next day by the customary route. 

Arriving at Washington on the 27th, the regiment 
marched to Capitol Hill and went into camp near the 
the other new Vermont regiments, with which it was brig- 
aded. The regiment took supper with the Thirteenth, and 
breakfasted with the Twelfth the next morning, and the 
officers and men had begun to settle themselves comforta- 
bly in camp, when the brigade was ordered across the 
Potomac. The important part which it thenceforth con- 
tributed to the history of the Second brigade will be related 
in the pages following. 


As has been noted, the order brigading together the five 
nine months regiments was received by them on the 27th of 
October, 1862. This arrangement was gratifjdng alike to the 
troops and to the people of Vermont, who recognized the 
distinction gained by the First Vermont brigade, and ex- 
pected like worthy service from a second brigade composed 
wholly of Vermont regiments. The brigade did not disap- 
point this expectation. Probably no body of troops of equal 
number ever contained more men of high patriotism and un- 
selfish sense of duty. Desertions were almost unknown 
among them. The Fourteenth never lost a man by deser- 
tion, the Fifteenth lost but one, and the whole brigade 
less than a dozen. As regarded good order in camp, 
soldierly appearance and general good conduct, they were a 
marked body of men. The number of professional men 
among them was large, and they did not altogether disappear 
from sight when they returned to civil life. From their num- 
ber, in the twenty-five years after the close of the war, three 
governors, two lieutenant governors, two judges of the 


supreme court, a congressman, a secretary of state, a United 
States district attorney, an adjutant general, a quartermaster 
general, fourteen State senators, and many town representa- 
tives were selected, in the State of Yermont ; and others at- 
tained prominence in other States. 

The concentration of the brigade took place on the 29th 
of October, at " Camp Casey," on East Capitol Hill, so 
named after Maj. General Silas Casey, under whose command 
it constituted the Second brigade of Casey's division of the 
Reserve Corps, in the defenses of "Washington. Its first 
brigade commander was its ranking colonel. Colonel A. P. 
Blunt. Its stay, as a brigade, on Capitol Hill, was of but a 
few hours. The Twelfth and Thirteenth regiments had been 
there long enough to get their tents floored and stockaded, 
and the others, just arrived, were preparing to follow their 
example, when the order came to move across the Potomac. 

The brigade broke camp on the morning of the 30th, 
crossed the river by Long Bridge, and moving out five miles 
into the country back of Arlington Heights, halted near 
Munson's Hill and camped in the edge of a stretch of oak 
timber, where fresh green grass, near a stream of clear water, 
was in refreshing contrast with the bare and barren surface 
and stifling dust-storms of Capitol Hill. After a day's stay 
in this pleasant spot, the Twelfth and Thirteenth regiments 
were sent to the south by a ten miles' march through Alex- 
andria, to a spot south of Hunting Creek, on the road to 
Mount Vernon, to take the place of Sickles's brigade, which 
had marched the day before, with other troops, to join 
General Sigel at Centreville. The two regiments bivouacked 
there for the night and the next day moved to the south a 
mile and a half, to the spot occupied by the brigade for the 
next month. The other three regiments moved thither on 
the 5th of November, and the camp was christened " Camp 
Yermont," the brigade headquarters being established in a 
•wing of the mansion of Mr. George Mason — an old Yirginian 



who announced himself as " neutral " on the war issue — on 
whose estate of " Springbank," the Vermonters found a good 
camping ground, with timber near by for fuel. This was a 
matter of some consequence, for the winter opened early in 
Virginia, and five inches of snow lay on the ground on tlie 
night of November 7th, a month earlier than any such snow- 
fall occurred in Vermont that year. The main duty of the 
brigade was the picketing of a portion of the line encircling 
Washington, extending from a point on the Potomac Uvo 
miles north of Mount Vernon, six miles to the north to the 
vicinity of the Orange and Alexandria railroad. To this 
added fatigue duty on the outworks of Fort Lyon, half a mile 
north of Camp Vermont, for which 1500 men were detailed 
daily from the brigade. 

At this time Lee's army was in the Shenandoah Valley, 
and McClellan was concentrating the Army of the Potomac 
around Warrenton. The change of commanders of the Army 
of the Potomac, made November 7th, created no excitement 
in the Second brigade, for not many of its oflScers had 
served under McClellan, and some who had, had lost con- 
fidence in him as a fighting general. No enemy was in the 
immediate front of the brigade, and no sound of actual com- 
bat reached their ears, with the exception that, one day, the 
cannon of the Second Corps were heard far to the northwest, 
when Hancock occupied Snicker's Gap. The men prepared 
for winter by building barracks of oak logs for company 
quarters ; but few had been finished before orders came to 
leave them. 

While in Camp Vermont, the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and 
Sixteenth regiments exchanged the old French and Belgian 
muskets with which the government had armed them on 
leaving Vermont, for Austrian and Enfield rifles. On the 
26th of November, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth 
regiments, under command of Colonel Eandall, were sent to 
the neighborhood of Union Mills, to picket the line of the 


Occoquau and Bull Run, and guard the railroad. The Fif- 
teenth returned to Camp Vermont on the 4th of December 
and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth on the 6th. The two 
latter reached camp at nightfall in a heavy snow-storm, and 
being without tents, were glad to find shelter in the tents and 
quarters of the other regiments. The brigade remained at 
Camp Vermont for a week longer, doing picket duty in rain 
and snow and sometimes on frozen ground with the mercury 
18 or 20 degrees below freezing. 

On the 7th of December General E. H. Stoughton, 
having been appointed a brigadier general and assigned to 
the command of the brigade, arrived at Camp Vermont and 
assumed command. 

On the 11th, when Burnside moved to the Rappahan- 
nock and commenced his ill-fated Fredericksburg campaign, 
Sigel's corps was moved forward from Fairfax Court House 
in order to be within supporting distance, and the Second 
Vermont brigade was ordered up to the position vacated by 
Sigel. The brigade moved thither on the 12th. The men 
started in excellent spirits — though many were sorry to 
leave the comfortable log huts which they had just com- 
pleted — and marched twenty miles in ten hours, over roads 
which became slippery as the frozen ground thawed under 
the sun, with heavy knapsacks and with little straggling. 
At four in the afternoon the regiments halted and camped 
among the pine trees near Fairfax Court House, and General 
Stoughton established his headquarters in the village, where 
they remained for three months. 

The brigade now had to picket a front of five or six 
miles along BuU Eun and Cub Run, in the outer line of in- 
fantry pickets around the defenses of Washington, the line, 
being continued on the right and left of the brigade by 
other troops of the Reserve Corps. In front of the infantry 
pickets, videttes of the First Virginia (loyal) cavalry were 
posted. The regiments took turns in picket duty, a regiment 


being sent out at a time, and remaining for four clays. The 
service was not particularly exciting, the only enemy in 
front being guerrillas, till, a few weeks later, the Confederate 
partisan, Mosby, began operating in that quarter with his 
rangers. The weather in December was much of it fine, and 
the log huts which kept Beauregard's troops warm the win- 
ter before, while McClellan's were shivering under canvas, 
were still standing and afforded shelter for the j^icket re- 
serves in the cold nights and storms. 

In the camps the men stockaded their tents, and the 
officers built commodious log houses, where some of their 
wives joined them during the winter. General Stoughton 
added to the usual battalion drills, frequent brigade drills, 
for which the broad open plain near Fairfax Court House 
afforded admirable ground. A brigade band of 17 pieces, 
which had been organized by Colonel Blunt, furnished music 
for dress parades and special occasions. The camps were 
clean and orderly, the men well behaved, the health of the 
brigade was fair, and the time passed not unpleasantly and 
with little excitement till the 27th of December, when 
Stuart's raid, called by his biographer the " Dumfries Raid," 
afforded a decided sensation. 

Starting from Lee's army south of the Rappahannock 
on the 26th, with 1,800 cavaby and a light battery, Stuart 
marched to the north, and the next day made a demon- 
stration against the Union post at Dumfries. Finding that 
position strongly guarded he moved north to the Occoquan, 
taking some sutlers' and army wagons on the way, and struck 
the Orange and Alexandria railroad at Burke's Station. 
There he captured the Union operator in the telegraph 
office, put an operator of his own in his place, took from the 
wires the despatches of General Heintzleman, command- 
ing the defenses of Washington, notifying the officers in 
command at Fairfax Station and Court House of the dis- 
positions he was making of troops to intercept Stuart ; and 


after sending a despatch to Quartermaster-General Meigs at 
Washington, complaining of the poor quality of the mules- 
he furnished to the Union army, cut the wires and moved 
toward Fairfax Court House, hoping to surprise and capture 
that post. 

General Stoughton, however, was on the alert. The 
artillery firing at Dumfries, twenty-five miles to the south, 
had been heard and the fact that Stuart was on a raid 
became generally known. Of course rumors and expecta- 
tions were rife in the camps. At nightfall on Sunday, the 
28th, Stuart's arrival at Burke's Station was announced, and 
the regiments were ordered to fall in. Colonel Yeazey, with 
the Sixteenth, with a section of the Second Connecticut 
Battery, Captain J. "W. Sterlings which was now attached to 
the brigade, was sent by General Stoughton to Fairfax 
Station to guard the army supplies there. The Fifteenth, 
Colonel Proctor, was on picket at Centreville and was left 
there. The Twelfth, under Lieut. Colonel Farnham, Colonel 
Blunt being absent in attendance on a court-martial in 
Alexandria, and the Thirteenth, Lieut. Colonel Brown, 
Colonel Randall also being in Alexandria, were posted in 
some old rifle-pits, half a mile east of the village, running 
across the Alexandria turnpike, by which Stuart was ap- 
proaching, with four guns of the Connecticut battery ; and 
the Fourteenth, Colonel Nichols, was in reserve, a short dis- 
tance to the rear of them. Companies B and G of the 
Twelfth, under Captain Paul, were posted half a mile in 
advance, in some timber by the side of the turnpike, and a 
cavalry vidette was stationed farther out. Lieutenants 
Hooker and Schermerhorn of General Stoughton's staff, 
volunteered to reconnoitre down the turnpike, and went 
toward Burke's till they were near enough to Stuart's column 
to hear the orders to " close up," when they returned with 
the information they had obtained. About ten o'clock in 
the evening, a cool moonlit evening, the cavalry pickets 


More driven in, Stuart's advance following them on the gal- 
lop, till tliey came vitliiu 100 yanls of Paul's detachment, 
■which received them with the first shotted volley fired by 
any of the troops of the Second brigade. This brought the 
Confederate troopers to a sudden halt. They then wheeled 
and retired out of musket range, without returning the fire, 
and came no more within musket shot of any portion of 
the brigade. A squad of six men, under Sergeant Dan K. 
Hall of company G of the Twelfth, was then sent down the 
turnpike to reconnoitre. They went till they met the 
enemy's picket, when Hall tied a white handkerchief to his 
bayonet, announced himself as a flag of truce, asked for the 
commander of the Confederate force, and was sent back 
■with word that General Stuart w^ould communicate with 
General Stoughton next morning. Soon a line of camp-fires, 
seen along the turnpike, seemed to indicate that the enemy 
was bivouacking for the night. The battery shelled the fires 
but evoked no response. Thirty men of companies B and G, 
under Captain E. J. Ormsbee, were then sent forward to 
reconnoitre and marched up to the fires but found no enemy. 
Ormsbee learned from a colored man, whose house was near 
by, that Generals Stuart, Fitzhugh Lee and Hampton, with 
a very long column of cavalry, had passed on to the north. 
Upon receipt of this information Stoughton hurried his regi- 
ments to the north of Fairfax Court House, and disposed 
them to meet an attack from that quarter. They stood to 
arms all night, but were not molested, Stuart had given up 
the attempt to surprise any of the Union posts ; and march- 
ing round by way of Vienna, Middleburg and Warrenton, 
returned whence he came. 

Confederate accounts of this afi'air are as follows : Lieut. 
Colonel W. R. Carter, Third Virginia Cavalry, says : 

'Reaching the Little River Turnpike, the division turned 
down toward Fairfax Court House, and on arriving within a 
mile of that place the enemy's infantry, in ambush, opeaed 


on the Lead of our column, fortunately killing only two 
horses and wounding one man very slightly. We made no 
reply to their fire, and only withdrew out of musket-range ; 
whereupon the enemy, not knowing how to interpret it, and 
thinking it might be a party of their own men, sent a flag of 
truce to ask whether we were friends or foes. They were 
told that they would be answered in the morning. On this 
being reported back they began to shell the turnpike ; but in 
the interim we had built camp-fires, as if about to encamp 
for the uight, and had left, taking a cross-road toward Vienna." 

Major McClellan, the biographer of Stuart, says : 

"From the information he had received Stuart conceived 
that it might be possible to surprise and capture the post of 
Fairfax Court House. He therefore marched direct to that 
point ; but when within about a mile of the town his advance 
was stopped by a volley from infantry and artillery, which 
showed that tlie enemy was in force and on the alert. While 
still maintaining the semblance of an attack, he turned off 
the rear of his column to the right without the least delay, 
and crossing the turnpike between Fairfax Court House and 
Aunandale, marched to Vienna. Here he turned westward 
to Frying Pan, which he reached at daybreak, and fed and 
rested for some hours. Thence by easy marches he returned 
through INIiddleburg and Warrenton 'to Culpeper Court 
House, which he reached on the 31st of December. His loss 
on the expedition was one killed, 13 wounded, and 14 

The execution done by tlie volley of Paul's men is 
somewhat understated by Colonel Carter. A man in front 
of whose house the head of Stuart's column halted just after, 
stated next day that eight of Stuart's troopers were wounded 
by it. The bodies of three horses killed, a riderless horse 
captured, and several revolvers, carbines, hats and other 
articles found in the turnpike showed that a number of bul- 
lets took effect ; and there is no doubt that the squadron 
which received the fire was pretty well shaken up. 

Colonel Randall, returning from Alexandria, passed 
along the turnpike just before it was occupied by Stuart, 
and joined his regiment in the rifle-pits. Colonel Blunt, at- 
tempting to do likewise a little later, was stopped near 


Annandale hj an outpost of the First Vermont cavalry, who 
informed liiiii that the turnpike was full of rebel cavalry, 
and he waited and joined his command the next morning. 

The aflair was a trifling one ; but as the first actual 
collision with the enemy it made no little stir in the brigade, 
and on other accounts it had prominent mention in the 
newspapers and reports. It had also the effect to inspire 
officers and men with mutual confidence ; for the former, 
from their young general down, were seen to be firm and 
cool in the prospect of a sharp encounter ; and the men were 
willing and even eager to fight. 

Nothing further occurred of special interest till the 20th 
of January. The troops of General Slocum's (the Twelfth) 
corps, which had been stationed at Fairfax Station and on 
the line of the Occoquan, having been sent forward, the Sec- 
ond Vermont brigade was at that date moved down to take 
their places. It was understood that Generals Slocum and 
Sigel had both asked for the brigade to strengthen their com- 
mands ; but General Casey was unwilling to relinquish it, and 
it remained in his division. The order to move came on the 
evening of the 19tli, and early the next morning the regiments 
broke camp. The Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth, with 
the Second Connecticut battery', marched to Fairfax Station, 
where they occupied, in part, the stockades and barracks 
which had sheltered Slocum's men. The Station, a military 
village of sheds and store tents, was the base of supplies for 
the thousands of troops at Centreville, Fairfax Court House, 
Union Mills, and other points in the vicinity, and as such 
needed to be strongly guarded. The Twelfth and Thirteenth 
moved on seven miles farther to Wolf Eun Shoals, where 
one of the highways leading from Fairfax Court House south 
to Dumfries crosses the Occoquan. 

Heavy rain storms set in on the night after this move ; 
the bottoms dropped out of the roads ; and in addition to 

'The battery shortly after moved down to Wolf Run Shoals. 


picket duty the regiments had to turn out and corduroy the 
roads leading from the Station to Wolf Run Shoals, in order 
to make them passable for the loaded army wagons.' What 
with this labor, the digging of rifle pits to guard the fords 
across the Occ( quan, the stockading of their tents, the cor- 
duroying of the company " streets," and the levelling of 
some Confederate fortifications on the south side of the 
river, the men did not languish much in idleness, though 
drills were for a time abandoned. 

The details for picket duty from the regiments at the 
Shoals were heavy, the two regiments there having to picket 
seven miles of the outer boundary of the newly organized 
Department of Washington, extending from the mouth of 
the Occoquan to Union Mills. A few weeks later the force 
for this duty was increased and the duty of the Vermont 
troops somewhat lightened, by the addition of a force of 
Pennsylvania and Michigan cavalry, which furnished men 
for outpost duty, and to be "gobbled" by Mosby. 

This daring partisan was now beginning to be an annoy- 
ance and dread, especially to the cavalry pickets in that 
quarter. Mosby had been a soldier in Stuart's cavalry, and 
rode in his column on his raid to Dumfries and Fairfax Court 
House. Perceiving during this raid the opportunities for 
irregular operations afforded in the debatable ground 
outside the Union lines around Washington, he had at his 
own request been detailed to harrass the Federal forces 
guarding the Capital between the Potomac and the Blue 
Eidge. Fifteen men of the First Virginia (Confederate) cavalry 
formed the original nucleus of his force, Avhicli he increased 
at will to a troop of a hundred or two, by additions 
of inhabitants of the region, who placed themselves under his 
command, retiring to their homes when not needed by him.* 

' It was here, according to tradition, that a teamster of a Vermont 
regiment discovered "a new road to camp — three feet below the old one." 

" Mosby called his force " the Conglomerates," and said that like one 
of the old political parties they were "held together by the force of public 


Having guides perfectly familiar with every road and by-path; 
tied to no headquarters or base of supply ; assembling his 
force at an hour's notice ; striking a supply train one day here, 
and surprising an outpost the next, fifty miles away, he waged 
a sort of mosquito warfare, vastly annoying to the Union 
commanders,who had to keep large numbers of men employed 
in watching and guarding against his petty incursions. As 
a rule, however, he preferred to keep clear of infantry; and 
so far as is known he never got through the pickets of the 
Second Vermont brigade ; nor did he make any captures 
from its number, w-itli a single notable exception, soon to be 

On the 2d of February the troops in the Department of 
AVashington were organized into the Twenty-second Army 
Corps, under command of Major General Heintzleman. 
The brigade remained, under this organization, the second 
l)rigade of Casey's division. Though the men suffered some- 
what from poor water and exposure, the weather being 
sometimes quite cold and snow storms more than once in 
February leaving over a foot of snow on the ground, the 
general health of the brigade continued good, and the morn- 
ing reports of February 15th gave as present for duty, of 
the Twelfth, 856; Thirteenth, 831; Fourteenth, 777; Fif- 
teenth, 753 ; Sixteenth, G84 men — an effective aggregate of 
3,901. Sickness increased and pneumonia and typhoid fever 
developed somewhat as the spring rains came on, but the 
epidemics were soon under control and by the end of March 
the health of the brigade as a Avhole was again excellent. 

On the 9th of March occurred the peculiar incident of 
the capture of the brigade commander by Captain Mosby. 
When the brigade moved forward to Fairfax Station and 
"Wolf Run Shoals, General Stoughton retained his head- 
quarters at Fairfax Court House. Here, three miles from 
his nearest regiment, he occupied the brick house of a Dr. 
•Gunuell, having with him his personal staff, the brigade 


band, and a sranll headquarters guard of half a dozen men, 
detailed by turns from the regiments of his command. His 
exposure to capture, under these circumstances, was a matter 
of common remark and of much uneasiness on the part of 
both officers and men of the brigade. In liis behalf it is to 
be said that liis retention of his headquarters at Fairfax 
Court House had the sanction of his superior officers, though 
it was reported that General Casey considered it an unwise 
arrangement. Colonel Percy Wyndham, of the First New 
Jersey, an English soldier of fortune, who had served in 
the Sardinian army and under Garibaldi and was now com- 
manding three regiments of cavalry in the Department of 
"W^ishington, also had his headquarters in the village, and 
often had a cavalry force with him, though the camps of his 
regiments were several miles away. General Stoughton had 
himself called General Heintzleman's attention some days 
before to a portion of the picket line northwest of Fairfax 
Court House, which was insufficiently manned. Having been 
assured, in reply, that this should be better guarded, General 
Stoughton apparently dismissed any apprehension of trouble 
from that quarter, and paid iio heed to the advice of officers 
of his brigade, who thought he was running too great a risk. 
He had his mother and his two sisters with him at his head- 
quarters, and in this and other ways showed that he felt 
quite secure. That his command did not share this feeling 
was shown by the frequent remark among them, that Gen- 
eral Stoughton would be "gobbled " some night, if he stayed 
where he was ; and by similar predictions expressed in 
letters written from the camps, weeks before his capture." 

An opportunity so apparent was not overlooked by 
Mosby. Starting from Aldie with 30 picked men, at night- 

' One of these letters dated February 26 1863, contaiaed the following 
sentence: "For all we can see the rebels might make a dash any night, 
and take the general, headquarteis and all, and get away before his brigade 
would be any the wiser." 


fall of the dark and rainy night of the 8th of March, the 
Confederate partisan passed through the Union picket line 
between Chantilly and Centreville, moved around to the 
south of Fairfax Court House, and at two o'clock in the 
morning entered the village by the road leading to it from 
Fairfax Station. He had with him Sergeant Ames, a deser- 
ter from the Fifth New York Cavalry, who was familiar with 
the situation at the Court House. This renegade, who was 
killed under Mosby a year later, carrying with him to his 
unmarked grave the secret of his hatred of the Union cause 
and of the comrades with whom he enlisted, captured one or 
two of the Union sentinels, by representing that the party 
was a squad of the Fifth New York Cavalry. Stonghton's 
headquarters guard was taken in a tent in the rear of his 
headquarters, where, with his permission, they had found 
shelter from the rain. In front of the village hotel, used at 
the time as a hospital, Mosby divided his men into three par- 
ties. One, nnder Ames, was sent to capture Colonel Wynd- 
ham ; another was directed to collect the horses from the 
stables ; with the third Mosby went to General Stoughton's 
headquarters. Rapping at the door and announcing that 
they had despatches for General Stoughton, they were ad- 
mitted ; and going to the general's room, roused him from 
sleep and informed him that he was a prisoner. He dressed 
himself and accompanied them perforce, as did Lieutenant 
Samuel F. Prentiss of" the Thirteenth Vermont, of his staff. 
The latter, however, soon after made his escape. Ames did 
not find Colonel "Wyndham, who was in Washington that 
night, but took there Lieutenant A. Austin of the First New 
Jersey Cavalry, of Wyndham's staff, and Captain Barker of 
the Fifth New Y^'ork Cavalry. The raiders spent an hour in 
the village without a shot being fired and without causing 
any general alarm, and between three and four o'clock they 
left as they came, taking with them General Stoughton, 
Captain Barker, Lieutenant Austin, a Baron Yardner who 


was a guest at Wyndham's headquarters, the telegraph 
operator, post postmaster, a pliotographer, and 15 private 
sokliers, several of whom were members of the Vermont 
regiments, on duty at headquarters as guards and orderlies. 
They also secured 55 horses, 14 of which belonged to Gen- 
eral Stoughton and his aids. Before daybreak they passed 
out between the Union pickets near Centreville, and reached 
Warrenton unmolested. Some of the officers had narrow 
escapes. Lieutenant George W. Hooker, General Stough- 
ton's adjutant general, who was asleep in his room, was not 
discovered by the raiders and was unmolested. Lieutenant 
L. L. O'Conner of the Fifth New York Cavalry, provost 
marshal of the post, owed his safety to the fact that he was 
visiting his outposts at the time. Lieut. Colonel Johnston 
of the Fifth New York, quartermaster of the post, stepped 
to the door of a house which he occupied with his wife and 
hailed the raiders as they passed to inquire who they were. 
Suspecting from the way in which the question was 
answered, that it was a party of the enemy, he ran out of 
the back door in his night linen, crawled under a barn and 
was not discovered, though close search was made for him. 
Lieutenant Prentiss, of General Stoughton's staff, slipped 
away from his captors before they left the village. Next 
day Mosby took his prisoners to Culpeper, where he deliv- 
ered them to General Fitz Hugh Lee, who, having known 
General Stoughton at West Point, was quite civil to him. 
They were forwarded thence to Libby prison. 

Several hours elapsed after Stoughton's capture, before 
the event became known to the troops of his command. It 
of course created no small sensation among them, as in fact 
it did throughout the country.' The officers and men of the 
brigade, however, felt in no wise responsible for the occur- 

^ President Lincoln's mot on the subject became historic. He said he 
did not so much mind the loss of a brigadier general, for he could make 
another in five minutes ; " but those Iiorses cost $125 apiece !" 


rence and they accepted it with ec^uanimity. To General 
Stoughton the misfortune was most disastrous. It ended 
his mihtary career. His nomination as brigadier general, 
which was awaiting confirmation hy the Senate at the time, 
was withdrawn by the President ; and when, two months 
later, General Stoughton was exchanged and released from 
prison, he found himself Avithout military rank or position. 
He never re-entered the service, and died a few years later. 

Nine citizens, residents in the village, together with Miss 
Antonia Ford, a young lady whose southern sympathies had 
not prevented her from making the familiar acquaintance of 
the northern officers, were arrested by Provost IMarshal 
O'Conner on suspicion of complicity in the capture of Gen- 
eral Stoughton,' and were sent to the Old Capitol prison in 
"Washington; but nothing was established against them and 
they were soon released. 

The command now again devolved upon Colonel Blunt, 
who at once removed the brigade headquarters to Fairfax 
Station. He strengthened the defenses of that important 
depot of supplies with miles of rifle-pits, dug by the Four- 
teenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Vermont regiments ; in- 
creased the efficiency of the picket service, and in other ways 
made the position more secure. 

The Vermont regiments, however, did not remain much 
longer around Fairfax Station. In the last week of March, 
General Casey moved the headquarters of his division from 
Washington to Centreville, accompanied by a large portion 
of his command, and the three Vermont regiments which had 
been for two months at Fairfax Station were moved forward 
— the Fourteenth joining the Twelfth and Thirteenth at 
Wolf Eun Shoals, and the Fifteenth and Sixteenth going to 

• Major Scott, author of " Partisan. Life unler Mosby," published after 
the war, who was one of Mosby's party, says this suspicion was " wholly 
devoid of foundation in fact." As he also says that ]\Iosby's first proceed- 
ing, after entering the village, was to go to the house of a citizen, there is, 
lievertheless, room for the suspicion that the citizen was expecting him. 


Union Mills. Colonel Blnnt at this time removed his head- 
quarters to Wolf Run Shoals. 

On the 2d of April the Thirteenth was moved five miles 
down the Occoquan, and camped about a mile north of the 
river, opposite the village of Occoquan, in a fine open field 
on the farm of one Widow Violet, after whom the camp was 
named. Here it took the place of a cavalry force which had 
been stationed there, which had gone to Fairfax Court 
House, where the several regiments of cavalry which had 
been stationed in the vicinity were concentrated under com- 
mand of General Stahel. The duty of the Thirteenth was to 
guard the ferry at Occoquan village, and the several fords 
up to Davis's Ford, three miles below Wolf Eun Shoals. 
The Twelfth and Fourteenth regiments guarded the line from 
there to Yates's Ford, two miles below Union Mills, on Bull 
Bun, and the Fifteenth and Sixteenth from there to Black- 
burn's Ford, where the troops of General Hays's brigade con- 
tinued the picket line to the north. 

The snows and severe weather lasted into April, in 
Virginia that year, and made the spring a trying one to the 
health of the brigade. The sick list rapidly increased, and 
the picket service became more arduous. Bushwhackers 
prowled around the outside of the line, and so frequently 
fired on the pickets at night, that a closer supervision of the 
inhabitants near the line was instituted. A general search 
of the houses of the planters and farmers, made by Captain 
Munson of the Thirteenth who was detailed as brigade pro- 
vost marshal, revealed numerous fire-arms, of all ages and 
patterns, with concealed stores of powder and ammunition, 
which were confiscated, though relinquished with great re- 
luctance by their owners. The oath of allegiance was ad- 
ministered to all who would take it, and a number of citizens 
who would not take it were sent to Washington for safe cus- 
tody. These measures had a salutary effect, and materially 
lessened the annoyances to which the soldiers of the brigade 
were exposed. 


About the 10th of April the weather became more set- 
tled, and General Hooker's preparations for the Chancellors- 
ville campaign being in progress, Colonel Blunt was ordered 
to put his brigade in readiness for more active duty. The A 
tents and officers' baggage were accordingly sent to Alexan- 
dria ; the sick men who were able to be moved were removed 
to the city hospitals ; rations and ammunition were provided, 
and the men waited eagerly for the order to advance. Several 
weeks elapsed, however, before it came. 

On the 20tli of April, the brigade received a new com- 
mander in the person of General George J. Stannard, who 
had been promoted brigadier general after the withdrawal of 
the appointment of General Stoughton, and assigned to 
the command of the Second brigade. He was personally 
known to many of the officers, and his character and military 
record, as well as the quiet but effective way in which he 
entered on the duties of his position, gave him the respect 
and utmost confidence of his command. Five hours of drill 
each day kept the troops from getting rusty, and the brigade 
was kept in a fine condition of drill and discipline. 

The protection of the Orange and Alexandria railroad, 
which had just been re-opened for the use of the army from 
Union Mills to the Rappahannock, was now added to the 
duties of the brigade. On the 21st the Sixteenth regiment 
was sent out to guard the construction train which re-opened 
the road ; and was the first infantry to pass over the road 
after the close of Pope's campaign. 

On the 1st of May, General Abercrombie, who had suc- 
ceeded General Casey in the command of the division, 
directed General Stannard to send a regiment to Warrenton 
Junction, to guard the railroad. The Twelfth regiment was 
detached for the purpose. It started early next morning and 
marched to Union Mills, where a train was waiting which 
took the regiment to "Warrenton Junction over a track por- 
tions of which had been so often torn up and so hastily 







repaired, as to be scarcely passable, strewn on either side 
with car-trucks, the remains of trains burned in Pope's 
campaign. Two companies were left at Catlett's Station and 
the rest of the regiment went on three miles beyond Warren- 
ton Junction, and bivouacked in a stretch of level meadow. 
The battle of Chancellorsville was then in progress, twenty 
miles to the south of that point, and the sound of the artil- 
lery of the contending armies was audible, there and in the 
camps nearer Washington. The thunder rolled more heavily 
next day, when the First Vermont brigade, under Sedgwick, 
was storming Marye's Heights and Hancock, Sickles and the 
rest were fighting around the Chancellor house. Intense as 
was the interest of the men of the Twelfth in the great battle, 
the smoke of which was almost visible to them, their atten- 
tion was more strongly taken by a cavalry encounter nearer 
by. Mosby, now promoted to be a major, had left War- 
renton that morning, with 100 men, for Fredericksburg, in- 
tending to hang upon and harass Hooker's rear. On his 
w^ay he ran upon the picket line of the Twelfth, captured 
three men, and finding that he w^as close upon an infantry 
camp, turned back to Warrenton Junction, where he struck 
an outpost of DeForest's cavahy brigade which was on 
duty in that quarter, consisting of 100 men of the First 
Yirginia loyal cavalry. The latter were taken entirely un- 
awares, their horses unsaddled, and men L.cattered here and 
there, and after a short fight, in which their commanding 
officer, Major Steele, was mortally wounded, about half of 
them surrendered and were being taken off by Mosby, when 
Major Hammond and a squadron of the Fifth New York 
Cavalry, followed by a portion of the First Vermont Cavalry, 
came upon the scene, and in a running fight of four or five 
miles recaptured all the prisoners but two, captured 23 of 
Mosby's men, most of them wounded, and scattered the rest 
so that hardly two were together. Mosby himself got off 



■with a single follower. The captured pickets of the Twelfth 
made their escape in the skirmish. 

After three days here, the Twelfth moved forward, on 
the 7th, to Rappahannock Station, to guard the railroad 
bridge, which, though much damaged, was still passable for 
foot passengers. The Fifteenth regiment was sent forward to 
Bealton, four miles back of the river. The camps w-ere 
pleasant, the region healthful, and the health of the two regi- 
ments was much benefitted by the change. They w'ere 
twenty miles from any infantry supports ; the Confederate 
pickets were in sight across the Rappahannock ; Confederate 
scouting parties were frequently seen, and if the enemy had 
attempted to repossess that portion of the railroad, they 
might have had trouble. 

An episode of some interest occurred during their stay 
here. On the 10th of May three colored men, lately the 
chattels of Hon. John Minor Botts, and about the last he had 
left to him, escaped from his plantation at Brandy Station 
and came to the camp of the Twelfth. They were followed 
thither by Mr. Botts, who askecl to have them returned to 
him on the ground that Mr. Lincoln's proclamation affected 
only the slave property of rebels, and that as a Union man 
he was entitled to reclaim his negroes. Colonel Blunt did 
not see his way clear to grant his request, but allowed Mr. 
Botts an opportunity to persuade the fugitives to voluntarily 
return with him. This, it is needless to say, he did not suc- 
ceed in doing, the colored men being clear that they would 
rather be free. The spokesman, a mulatto boy who strongly 
resembled Mr. Botts and used about as good language, dis- 
cussed the matter with Mr. Botts and quite posed the latter 
by the suggestion that though if he was a rebel he might 
claim his slaves, if he was a truly loyal man, he ought to 
respect Mr. Lincoln's proclamation, which declared all the 
slaves in any State or part of a State in rebellion, to be 
" thenceforward and forever free." His powers of persuasion 


failing, and worsted in the argument, Mr. Botts drew np and 
forwarded through General Stannard to the President, a 
long letter arguing his right to his slaves and representing 
that the refusal of the Vermont officers to restore his chattels 
was calculated to drive many Union men into the Confederate 
ranks. This appeal, however, was without eifect ; the Presi- 
dent did not recall or modify his proclamation; and the 
colored men remained with the brigade as officers' servants 
and hostlers during its term of service, and returned with it 
to Vermont, where they supported themselves and their 
families in comfort by their industry. 

On the 18th Stoneman's cavalry came to guard the posi- 
tion at Kappahannock Station, and the two Vermont regi- 
ments were withdrawn. The Fifteenth returned to Union 
Mills and resumed picket duty on Bull Run. The Twelfth 
was drawn back, its right wing to Bristoe's Station and the 
left in two detachments was stationed at Catlett's Station 
and Manassas, till the 1st of June, when the Twelfth re- 
turned to Union Mills and was replaced on the railroad by 
the Sixteenth, which was succeeded after two weeks by the 
Fifteenth. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth remained on the 
Occoquan. The brigade was now guarding a front of nearly 
fifty miles, three regiments maintaining a picket line of 
about twenty miles, and the other two guarding thirty miles 
of railroad, for which a year before 16,000 men had been 
considered to be only a sufficient guard, though there was 
then no enemy in force east of the Blue Eidge. Much 
malarial fever prevailed in the Thirteenth regiment during 
May and June, and its camp was moved a short distance to. 
what it was hoped would be a more healthful location. 

Among the incidents of this period were the capture by 
guerrillas of some men and army wagons belonging to the 
Thirteenth, and the capture and destruction by Mosby of a 
supply train on the railroad. The former occurrence took 
place May 14th. The wagons, three in number, with their 


drivers, accompanied by three men, were on their way to 
Fairfax Station for rations, when, about two miles out from 
camp, they were suddenly attacked by a party of guerrillas, 
under command of Lieutenant Smith of the Fourth Virginia 
Cavalry. With pistols held at their heads, the teamsters 
and their companions, all being unarmed, had no option but 
to surrender. Their captors cut the teams from the wagons, 
mounted the captives on the horses and hurried back across 
the river. Word was soon brought to camp, and Lieut. 
Colonel Munson commanding. Colonel Randall being ill, 
hurried off several parties on each side of the river, in hopes 
to intercept the guerrillas ; but they had too long a start, 
and took their prisoners to Gainesville, where they were 
paroled and released.' 

The other affair was a more exciting one. On the 30th 
of May a supply train of ten cars loaded with forage for the 
cavalry at Rappahannock Station left Alexandria. At Union 
Mills it took on a train guard of twenty-five men, detailed 
from the Fifteenth regiment under command of Lieutenant 
Hartshorn of company E of that regiment. Chaplain Bras- 
tow of the Twelfth accompanied the train as a passenger. 
In the neighborhood of Catlett's Station, Major Mosby, with 
50 or GO men, was lying in wait for the train. He had 
obtained from General Stuart a mountain howitzer to assist 
his operations against the railroad trains, and, proud as a 
boy with a new top, he took it to a favorable spot, put it in 
position behind a screen of bushes about a hundred yards 
from the track, removed a rail sufficiently to derail the train, 
and taking his men under cover, awaited the train. It ap- 
proached at a gOod rate of speed, ran off from the track and 
came to a halt. Mosby 's first shell crashed through a car. 

1 The men so taken were Sergeants Boyce and Sllsby of company B; 
Sergeant Fuller of company G, who was picked up by the party on the 
south side of the river where he was scouting on his own hook ; G. Wood- 
worth and J. Grifl3th of company G ; S. Austin of company H, and J. 
Carr of company I— all of the Thirteenth. 


His second shot went throngli the boiler of the locomotive. 
The engineer, train-men and guard waited for no more; the 
latter fired a few shots, one of which killed one of Mosby's 
horses ; and springing from the cars, made their escape into 
the woods near by. Mosby's men at once surrounded the 
train, pillaged a car loaded with sutlers' supplies, and set- 
ting fire to the hay in the rest, destroyed the train and 
started back for the mountains. How they were pursued by 
Colonel Preston and a battalion of the First Vermont Cav- 
alry, which was in camp near by, and how the Vermont 
troopers charged upon and captured the gun, will be related 
in the history of the Vermont cavalry, in subsequent pages. 

While the picket and guard duty was at this time more 
exacting than ever, daily drill was not neglected, and some 
of the regiments attained a high degree of proficiency in in- 
fantry evolutions and the manual of arms. The Fifteenth 
and Sixteenth regiments were reviewed by General Aber- 
crombie at Union Mills soon after he assumed command of 
the division, and received high compliments from him on 
their fine condition and appearance, which were conveyed to 
them in a special order. 

In the first week in June, General Lee began the pre- 
liminary movements of his second invasion of the north, and 
the artillery firing in the great cavalry fight between the 
mounted forces of the two armies, on the 9th, which followed 
Hooker's endeavor to unmask the movement of his adversary, 
was plainly heard by the Fifteenth Vermont, then stationed 
at Bristoe's and Catlett's. 

Next day Pleasonton's cavalry corps bivouacked near 
Warrenton Junction, his pickets joining those of the Second 
Vermont brigade. 

On the loth, the infantry of Hooker's army began to 
move past, on the march which was to end at Gettysburg, 
led by the Eleventh Corps, which bivouacked that night at 
Catlett's Station, followed by the three other corps which 


took the lino of the Orange and Alexandria road. With 
these columns came large numbers of colored people. These, 
finding at Catlett's what seemed to be a permanent infantry 
camp, lialted there, under the supposition that perhaps the 
region was not to be permanently abandoned by the Union 

Lieut. Colonel Grout, commanding the four companies 
of the Fifteenth stationed at Catlett's, which was now the 
extreme southern infantry outpost on that line, was in- 
formed by General Buford, commanding the First division of 
the cavalry corps, then in camp within sight of Catlett's and 
forming the rear guard of the army, that he should move to 
the north that night ; that the enemy was in force in his im- 
mediate front and would undoubtedly follow him ; and that 
it would not do for Grout to remain after he left. The 
latter replying that he had no orders to withdraw, Gen- 
eral Buford took the responsibility of giving such an order, 
and promised to supply transportation for Grout's tents 
and baggage, provided a train came to take his own bag- 
gage and supplies. But as no train arrived, Grout and 
his men took care of themselves. A car was hastily con- 
structed by Captain Blake from some lumber and a set of 
car-trucks found by the side of the track. A rope was at- 
tached to the front of the car, to draw it by hand ; another 
rope behind served the purpose of a brake. The tents and 
baggage were loaded, and the battalion started for Bristoe's, 
followed by Buford, who burned his forage and supplies, to 
prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy, and marched 
away by the light of the conflagration. A colored woman 
with a baby three hours old had a place on Grout's car, and 
a crowd of over a thousand negroes, men, women and chil- 
dren, accompanied the battalion. The party joined the rest 
of the regiment at Bristoe's that night ; and next day the 
regiment joined the rest of the brigade at Union Mills. 

The headquarters of the cavalry corps on the night of 


the 15th, were at Union Mills, where General Pleasonton ac- 
cepted the hospitality of General Staunard ; and on the 16th 
the Sixth Corps, moving from Dumfries to Fairfax Station, 
marched past, and there were fraternal greetings of the 
soldiers of the two Vermont brigades. 


On the 23d of June General Stannard was notified that 
his brigade had been attached to the First Corps of the 
Army of the Potomac ; that he was to hold his line till all 
the rest of the army had passed on ; and then he was to fol- 
low the column to the north, and report to General Key- 
nolds, commanding the First Corps. On the 25th the 
brigade was accordingly concentrated at Union Mills ; and 
starting at three p. m., marched eight miles and bivouacked 
a mile beyond Centreville, where Howe's division of the 
Sixth Corps lay that night. Waiting next morning till the 
troops and long trains of artillery and wagons of the Sixth 
Corps had passed, and forming the rear guard of the army, the 
brigade marched next to Herndon Station. Thence moving 
on with tlie great tide of the army, along the line of the 
Alexandria and Loudon railroad, it struck at Guilford Sta- 
tion the line of march of the First Corps, which had passed 
that point two days before, and was now a day's march into 
Maryland. That afternoon the brigade crossed the Potomac 
on the ponton bridges at Edwards Ferry and marched nearly 
to Poolesville, Md. Waiting next morning, Sunday, June 
28th, for many troops and trains to pass, the brigade started 
at eight A. m., crossed the Monocacy at its mouth at noon, 
and marching hard, the men discarding knapsacks and 
blankets by hundreds, bivouacked two miles beyond Adams- 
town, on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Moving again, 
in a steady rain which lasted all day of the 29th, the brigade 
halted for three hours at Frederick City. The march was 


telling on some of the men, many of whom were poorly shod, 
the chief quartermaster thinking it not worth while to issue 
new shoes before the march, to troops whose term of service 
was so soon to expire. Most of the men had blistered and 
bleeding feet ; and 90 disabled men were left at Frederick 
City. Marching due north the brigade bivouacked that 
night near Cregertown, where the news was received that 
General Hooker had been superseded by General Meade. 
Here a rumor that the rebels had sacked Harrisburg stirred 
the blood of the tired soldiers. Next day, June 30th, after 
another hard day's march in the mud, the brigade reached 
Emmittsburg, two miles from the Pennsylvania line. It had 
marched 120 miles in the six days, which was doing well for 
troops unused to marching. General Meade telegraphed 
General Halleck this day that the Pennsylvania Reserves, 
which left the defenses of Washington the same day with 
the Second Vermont brigade, could not keep up with the 
army. Stannard's brigade had not only kept up, but had 
gained a day's march on the First Corps. An aid sent for- 
ward by Stannard to report the approach of the brigade to 
General Eeynolds, found him that evening, stretched on a 
wooden settle in a little wayside inn at Marsh Run, five 
miles from Gettysburg, and took back to General Stannard 
a message from General Reynolds to the effect that the 
brigade had marched well, and that he should be glad when 
it joined him, for he was likely to need all the men he could 
get. Twelve hours later this gallant and trusty commander 
had passed beyond the need of men. Next morning General 
Reynolds was assigned to the command of the left wing of 
army and turned the command of the First Corps over to 
Major General Abner Doubleday, to Avhose division (the 
Third) the Second Vermont brigade had been attached, the 
command of the division devolving upon Brig. General 
Thomas A. Piowley. 

That the enemy was in force at Cashtown, less than a 


dozen miles away, was known in the camps that night ; and 
that a pitched battle was impending was doubted by 
no one, from the general commanding to the youngest drum- 

The armies about to engage in the bloodiest and most 
momentous battle since Waterloo, were not as nearly equal 
in numbers, as they were supposed to be at the time. The 
Army of the Potomac numbered in round numbers a hun- 
dred thousand men of all arms ; that of Northern Virginia 
about eighty-five thousand men. In effective strength upon 
the field, according to the careful and impartial computa- 
tion of the Comte de Paris, Meade had 91,000 men and 327 
guns. Lee had 80,000 men and 268 guns. The numbers that 
actually took part in the fighting, however, were about equal, 
for Lee fought every brigade but two in his army, while 
Meade had one corps which was held in reserve. Being in an 
enemy's country, there was no straggling from the Confed- 
erate ranks; and the fighting strength of Lee's army ap- 
proached the reported number of effectives more nearly than 
Meade's. Meade's preponderance of artillery availed him 
nothing ; for Lee's longer lines enabled him to use more 
guns than Meade could place in battery. Lee's army con- 
sisted wholly of veterans, in splendid condition, flushed by 
the victories of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, under a 
tried and trusted leader ; and according to the testimony of 
Confederate historians, " equal to anything." ' The Union 
army contained a larger proportion of troops that had never 
been under fire, was more widely scattered when the battle 
opened, and was under a general who had accepted the chief 
command with reluctance and had held it but two days. 
Yet as a body it was nerved throughout by the common 
thought that the battle was for the possession of the National 

' " I do not think a better army, better nerved up to its work, ever 
marched upon a battlefield." — Gen. E. P. Alexander, chief of artillery of 
Longstreet's corps : Century Magazine, vol. xxxiii., p. 464. 


Capital and that a Union defeat might be the success of the 


Wlien the first shot of the battle of Gettysburg was fired 

at 9 A. M. of Wednesday, the Second Vermont 
July 1, 1863. , . , , . ,.,■,-, 1 . 

brigade was lying where it had bivouacked, a 

little outside the village of Emmittsburg. Having established 
communication with General Eej'nolds and with the head- 
quarters of the Third division, which lay that morning near 
the house of W. R. White, in Freedom, Pa., the next town 
north of Emmittsburg, General Stannard awaited further 

About six o'clock that morning, General Reynolds, hav- 
ing become satisfied that the enemy was moving upon 
Gettysburg, went forward from Marsh Run with Wadsworth's 
division, to support Buford, whose cavalry at that hour was 
the only Union force between Gettysburg and Hill's corps, 
advancing from Cashtown. At the same time, he directed 
Doubleday to assemble the rest of the corps and follow him. 
The Third division got its order to move, and started, at eight 
o'clock. An hour or more later Stannard, who had moved 
forward two or three miles from Emmittsburg, received orders 
to leave two regiments to guard the corps trains, and to fol- 
low the division with the rest of his brigade. The Twelfth 
and Fifteenth regiments were accordingly directed to remain 
with the trains, and the other three regiments moved forward 
to the north. The forenoon was misty and rainy, but later 
the sun came out, and during the afternoon the heat was 
oppressive. Occasionally a watery cloud obscured the sun 
and sent down a short and sudden shower of rain, which did 
not cool the air, the rays of the sun seeming to be more 
scalding after each shower. About noon a courier from Gen- 
eral Doubleday brought word that the battle had begun in 
earnest ; that General Reynolds was killed ; that the First 


Corps and cavalry were liolding back a much superior force, 
and that the brigade was needed at the front as soon as it 
could get there. Stanuard hurried his regiments forward, 
and the men pushed on about as fast as thej could march, 
yet all too wearily, till as the column crossed a crest, the 
first sound of the battle, the distinct and heavy roar of can- 
non, came to their ears. The effect of the sound was notice- 
able. The ranks at once closed up, the weary men stepped 
off with freer step, and not a straggler thenceforward dropped 
from the column. About four o'clock the brigade halted for 
a few moments' rest, in a grove of walnut trees by the side of 
the road, about four miles from Gettysburg. The smoke of 
the battle was now mounting high into the air in front, and 
" the sultry thunder of Gettysburg " rolled heavily from 
under the vast pillars of cloud. 

At this time the First and Third divisions of the First 
Corps, after five hours of hard fighting, were still holding 
their ground in front of Seminary Ridge. Howard's corps 
(the Eleventh) had arrived and relieved the cavalry on 
Doubleday's right, and was now formed in the fields north of 
the village. Both corps were soon to be flanked and over- 
whelmed, upon the arrival of Ewell's corps, now coming on 
to the field by way of the Carlisle and York roads. But how 
the fight was going was not known to the Vermonters till 
another courier meets the head of the column with word that 
Doubleday is hard pressed and cannot hold his ground with- 
out help, and that the brigade must hurry forward. Receiv- 
ing Stannard's reply that he will be there just as soon as he 
can and have his men in any condition to fight when they 
reach the ground, the orderly strikes spurs into his dripping 
horse and returns. The brigade hurries forward at quick-er 
step. Soon companies of pale women and frightened child- 
ren are met, fleeing from the scene of bloodshed, and groups 
of excited inhabitants, gathered at points of view looking 
toward Gettysburg, meet the column with varied greetings — 


some seeming to say by their sad gaze : " Alas that these 
new thousands should be food for powder," while the ex- 
pression of other countenances can be seen to change from 
fear to hope and confidence, as they glance along the well- 
closed ranks and look into tlie stern sunburned faces press- 
ing resolutely forward ; an: they wave them on, as to certain 

The brigade followed, according to its orders, the round- 
about route taken by the division, by way of the country 
roads west of Marsh Creek, and though the men did their 
very utmost, it was nearly sunset when the column struck 
across Willoughby Kun to the Emmittsburg road within the 
limits of the town of Gettysburg. 

By this time what was left of the First and Eleventh 
corps had fallen back to Cemetery Hill. Hancock, sent 
forward by General Meade to represent him on the field, had 
made the necessary dispositions to resist further attack. A 
faint demonstration made by Ewell against the north face of 
Cemetery Hill had been repulsed. General Slocum had 
arrived with the advance of the Twelfth Corps. The Third 
Corps, General Sickles, was coming upon the ground, and 
the storm of human strife had about ceased for the day, to 
be more heavily renewed on the morrow. 

The Second Vermont brigade, turning from the Emitts- 
burg road at Klingel's house, passed across the fields, close 
behind the picket line of Buford's cavalry, along which the 
carbines were cracking, to a wheat-field on Cemetery Ridge, 
a little south of the spot now occupied by the National Cem- 
etery. Immediate command of the brigade was at once 
claimed by the commanders of the First, Tliird and Twelfth 
corps, and under contradictory orders from one and another, 
the brigade was marched and countermarched to and fro for 
an hour, to the immense disgust of the men, who had had 
enough of marching for one day. It was finally placed on the 
right of Birney's division of the Third Corps, and the men 


stayed their stomaclis on the hard bread in their haversacks, 
and sank to sleep upon their arms. A picket detail of 200 
men of the Sixteenth, under Major Rounds, brigade field- 
officer of the day, was posted out in front, relieving Buford's 
cavalry. Colonel Veazey accompanied Major Rounds to the 
picket line, and with some difficulty, darkness having fallen 
on the field, the pickets were posted a short distance in front 
of the Emmittsburg pike, connecting right and left with the 
pickets of the other corps. 

It had been a hard fought day. Of the 16,000 men of 
the First and Eleventh corps, barely 6,000 remained at sun- 
down with their colors. But they had inflicted heavy loss 
upon the enemy — Rhode's division of EavcH's corps having 
lost 3,000 men, and Hill's corps having suffered heavily ; — 
and holding the key to the field in their possession of Cem- 
etery Ridge, Doubleday and Howard had made possible the 
final victory. 

General Hancock having reiurned to report in person to 
General Meade, who was still back at Taneytown, engaged 
in hurrying forward the troops. General Slocum took com- 
mand upon the field for the time being, and Maj. General 
John Newton, of the Sixth Corps who had been sent for- 
ward by General Meade to take command of the First 
Corps, relieved General Doubleday, who returned to his 
division. General Slocum appointed Stannard general field- 
officer of the day, or night rather, for the left wing of the 
army ; and while his men slept their genaral watched the 
front and rode the lines in the moonlight. There, on the 
left of Cemetery Hill, at three o'clock in the morning, he met 
the vigilant commander of the army, who, having arrived at 
midnight, was satisfying himself by personal observation in 
regard to the disposition of the troops. 

To return to the regiments left near Emmittsburg, — the 
Twelfth and Fifteenth had accompanied the First Corps 
train to within five miles of the field, and were halting in a 


grove by the side of the Emmittsbiirg road, the traia 
being parked near by at a cross-road leading east, %vhen 
General Sickles rode np on his way to the field. He in- 
quired "what brigade that was, and iTuder what orders it was 
acting, and remarking that one of two such large regiments 
was enough to guard the train, directed Colonel Blunt to 
leave the smaller of the two with the wagons, and to have 
the other follow the division (Birney's) of his corps, then 
passing at a hurried pace. " Let your men," he said, " drive 
up all the stragglers, and bayonet any man that refuses to go 
forward." ' 

A count by companies, which was taken of the two regi- 
ments, showed that the Fifteenth had a few more men pres- 
ent for duty than the Twelfth, and it accordingly followed the 
Third Corps to the field. It arrived at Gettysburg in the 
course of the night, and joined the brigade at daylight in the 

' General Sickles's testimony to the exposed nature of the duty these 
regiments were doing, is worth quoting. In a public address at Gettys- 
burg, July 2d, 1882, he said : " On my way [to Gettysburg] I discovered 
Stannard's Vermont brigade guarding a wagon-train. This was a duty 
those splendid soldiers did not much relish, so I took the responsibility of 
ordering them to join my command. You can hardly imagine their joy 
when they found they were going to join in the battle. They gave a 
rousing cheer, and the splendid work they performed during the next two 
days justified my order. The march of the advance brigades of the Third 
Corps on the Sunk of the enemy — without an attack — without annihilation, 
is one of the strangest incidents of the movement. Yet more remarkable 
is the circumstance that the trains of the First Corps, guarded by the Ver- 
mont brigade under Stannard, were found by me parked on the road 
to Gettysburg. I ordered the trains to the rear, and brought those 
splendid regiments of Vermonters, with my column, to Gettysburg, where 
they fought so heroically and so effectively on the last day. These trains 
and their escort had likewise escaped capture. It was easy enough for the 
enemy to reach out and capture and destroy all these detachments on their 

General Sickles was in error in supposing that these two regiments 
were the whole of Stannard's brigade ; but he correctly describes their 
willingness to go forward. 

"^ This matter of the count having been a subject of some discussion, at 
the time and afterwards, it may be explained that at no previous time 


Apprehensions of a movement from the enemy's right 
upon the communications and army trains, coupled possibly 
with a feeling on the part of some one that General Sickles's 
interference with the troops of the First Corps was uncalled 
for, occasioned a reversal of the order which had brought the 
Fifteenth to the field, and on the morning of the 2d, it was 
sent back, by orders from division headquarters, to join the 
Twelfth with the trains now parked at Kock Creek Church, 
two and a half miles back. General Stannard tried to obtain 
leave for the regiment to remain with him, but his request 
was refused. Proctor's instructions were to return by the 
route over which he came. Starting about noon, he accord- 
ingly took his regiment back by a route between the line of 
battle and the skirmish line of the Third Corps, in front of 
Little Kound Top, and had turned thence to the right, to 
strike across the field to the Emmittsburg road, when a staff 
officer was sent by General Sickles to him with the informa- 
tion that he could not go much farther in that direction 

would any count have been needed to determine which regiment was the 
stronger in numbers, the Twelfth regiment having left the State with 55 
more men than the Fifteenth and having maintained its preponderance in 
numbers up to the time the brigade left Union Mills. At that time, ia 
preparation for the march, the sick and feeble men of the brigade were 
sent to Alexandria. The numbers so excused by the surgeons from the 
Twelfth and Fifteenth, were about equal. But the detachment of invalids 
from the Fifteenth happening to come under General Stannard's eye as 
they were starting, he found among them a number of convalescents whonx 
he thought fit for duty and ordered back to the ranks. The detach 
ment of the Twelfth, having already gone to Alexandria, escaped his 
scrutiny. There was thus a greater depletion of the Twelfth, at this time, 
than of the Fifteenth, and there was room for doubt which was the large; . 
The result of the count was, however, a surprise to the officers and men of 
the Twelfth, and Colonel Blunt ordered a second count of his regiment, 
directing the captains to see that every man was counted. The result 
was the same, and he accordingly sent the Fifteenth on. It left for the field 
in high spirits, while the Twelfth remained as train-guard, much to the 
disgust of most of its officers and men, many of whom, it must be added, 
did not believe, either before or after the count, that the Fifteenth was 
the larger regiment, and severely blamed the adjutant of the Twelfth, by 
whom the count was made, for keeping the regiment out of the fight. 


without marcliing into the enemy's lines. He accordingly 
halted, and sent back for further instructions. These were 
to return to Eock Creek Church by any route open to him. 
He started again, and guided by a citizen, passed between 
the Round Tops, and on to the south. The movement of the 
Third Corps to occupy the ridge beyond the Emmittsburg 
road, was at that time in preparation, and that of Long- 
street to the same position was in progress, and as the regi- 
ment passed over the ridge, the cannonade which preluded 
the terrible fighting of the afternoon was seen as well as 
heard. From Rock Creek Church, the trains and train-guards 
were ordered to "Westminster, Md., twenty-two miles back. 
A portion of the First Corps' ammunition train, however, 
remained near the field, and companies B and G of the 
Twelfth and two companies of the Fifteenth were detached 
to guard the wagons. These, with the guard, moved on the 
forenoon of the third day, in consequence of a threatening 
movement of the enemy's cavalry, across Rock Creek and up 
the Taney town road to a field near the barn occupied as the 
brigade hospital, and remained there during the fighting of 
the third day. 


The commanders of the armies were hurrying forward 
their men to the field during the night of the 1st. By morn- 
ing of the 2d almost all of Lee's army was 
Thursday, July 2. >^<. ,i * t 

on the ground, or near by. Ui the Army oi 

the Potomac, the First and Eleventh corps, now reduced to 
the size of divisions, and the Twelfth, were the only corps 
wholly up. The others were in large part still strung out 
along the roads, and were arriving by brigades and divisions 
all along from seven a. m. to four p. m. As the troops poured 
in and lines extended and batteries multiplied, the Yermonters 
of the Second Brigade awoke to the full reaUzation of the 
fact that they were in the centre of the vast field of what 


:«, LENOX AN» 

jjiH FO^:lNfiAT^©^W. 


might be tlie decisive battle of the war. The men of 
the Sixteenth on picket had been relieved at daylight by 
troops of the Third Corps, and the brigade joined Double- 
day's division to which it belonged, which was lying in the 
rear of Cemetery Hill, a little east of the Taneytown road. 
Here they got their breakfast. That they had anything to 
eat was owing to the energy of Acting Brigade Quartermaster 
Charles Field. Aware that the men had not over a day's 
rations with them, he took the responsibility when the trains 
were ordered back, of going forward with four wagons loaded 
with hard breafl, pork and coflee. He reached the field with 
these after dark of the first day. Coming in by the Emmitts- 
burg road, he would have gone unawares into the Confed- 
erate lines if he had not been halted by the Third Corps 
pickets who directed him to the position of the brigade. He 
had a cordial welcome from General Stannard, and the regi- 
ments were thus supplied with the food so needed to sustain 
the men in the strain and struggle before them. During the 
forenoon of the second day the brigade lay massed in 
column by divisions, in the rear of Cemetery Hill, the men 
occupying themselves in drying in the sun their cartridges 
which had become damp in the rain of the previous night, 
and awaiting events. They were pleased and cheered by a 
remark of General Doubleday's, made in the hearing of 
many of them, to a member of his staff, as he rode by: 
" Here are some boys that will fight when their turn comes." 
About two p. M., General Stannard was placed in general 
charge of the infantry supports of the batteries on the left 
brow of Cemetery Hill ; and took his position with several of 
his staff where the Taneytown road crosses the brow of the 
hill. There was an occasional cannon shot and a little skir- 
mishing out near the Peach Orchard ; but on Cemetery Hill 
all was quiet till about three o'clock p. m., when two Confed- 
erate batteries of 10 and 20-pound guns, placed on a knoll in 
a wheat field 1,300 yards in front, suddenly opened fire on 



Cemetery Hill. "This was," says Colonel Wainwriglit, chief 
of artillery of the First Corps, "the most accurate fire I had 
ever yet seen from their artillery." The first shell thrown, 
just clearing the ridge of Cemetery Hill, exploded over the 
Thirteenth Vermont, wounding several men — the first men 
of the brigade hurt by hostile shots. Others quickly fol- 
lowed, and there was a sudden scattering to the rear of 
ambulances, orderlies and all whose duties did not hold 
them to the spot ; and the three Vermont regiments were 
moved a little closer under the hill, where the men, lying 
down, were fairly sheltered by the crest. The Union guns 
on the brow of the hill, thirteen in number, replied vigor- 
ously, and a sharp artillery duel followed, lasting two hours, 
when the enemy's batteries were silenced. During this can- 
nonade the spot where Stannard stood was much exposed, 
not only to the enemy's artillery, but to his sharpshooters on 
his skirmish line in front, whose bullets hummed by with 
unpleasant frequency. General Stannard was at one time 
whirled off from his feet by the explosion of a shell which 
burst almost in the little group of himself and his staff; but 
none were hurt, though a fragment of the shell cut a button 
on the breast of Lieutenant Prentiss. A gap in the picket 
line in front being reported to General Stannard, he sent for 
a company of the Sixteenth to fill it. Company B, Captain 
Arms, of that regiment, reported for the purpose, and Cap- 
tain A. G. Foster of the brigade staff was sent to station 
it. The company moved down under partial cover of 
Bryan's house, and thence to the Emmittsburg road in 
front, and had barely time to get protection in a ditch by the 
road side when a volley from a body of the enemy whistled 
over them. By this fire Captain Foster fell with musket 
balls through both legs, and was taken to the rear. Captain 
Arms deployed his company and advanced some distance 
beyond the road, connecting with the picket line on his right. 
There was some picket skirmishing here during the after- 


noon, iu which two men of the company were seriously 
wounded, and a corporal of the Nineteenth Mississippi was 
captured by the pickets of company B. The company 
remained on the skirmish line the rest of the day and night. 
During the forenoon of the od it was relieved from the skir- 
mish line and then, together with company G of the same 
regiment, under Lieutenant Dutton, and a battalion of 
Pennsylvania "Bucktails," supported a battery on the left 
of Cemetery Hill. During the terrible cannonade of Friday 
afternoon. Captain Arms was stunned by a shell which killed 
a man by his side, and four men were wounded, two of them 
mortally, by artillery fire. The companies rejoined the regi- 
ment in the evening. 

During the opening cannonade of the afternoon five 
companies, D, E, F, H and K of the Thirteenth regiment, 
were detached and sent, under Lieut. Colonel Munson, to 
support a battery on the north front of Cemetery Hill. 
They moved to the rear of the battery, a short distance to 
the right of the brigade, and remained there during the 
remainder of the day till about sundown." 

The brigade as a body had little to do till near the end 
of the afternoon. The Third Corps had made the important 
movement to the front which has been the occasion of so 
much discussion since the battle. Sickles had been struck 
on front and flank by Longstreet with much superior num- 
bers of men and guns. After prolonged and bloody fighting 
and great loss on both sides, the angle of Sickles's lines at 
the Peach Orchard had been broken ; he himself had been 

' During the shelling of Cemetery Hill, Lieutenant S. F. Brown and 
Privates Hogan, Prouty and Monahan of company K, rendered active 
assistance to one of the batteries from which most of the gunners had been 
driven by the severity of the enemy's Are, The battalion moved to the 
left and front, with other troops, to support the Union lines which were 
being re-established after Longstreet's onset. It did not become engaged, 
however. Later in the evening it joined the other half of the regiment, in 
the front line on the left centre. 


disabled by a shell which shattered his leg, and his entire 
corps was driven back, in a broken condition, to the posi- 
tion from which it advanced. Lougstreet followed up his 
advantage with great vigor, and pushed forward his masses 
to seize the low crest between Cemetery Hill and the Round 
Tops. Had he succeeded in this efibrt he would have cut 
the Army of the Potomac in two ; taken its lines in reverse 
on right and left, and probably ended the battle in the defeat 
of the Union army. On the extreme left, the day was re- 
stored by the Fifth Corps, which had been ordered forward 
from Hock Creek. General Meade was in that part of the 
field in person, had his horse shot under him and was active 
in stemming the tide of defeat. General Warren, sent by 
him to look after the commanding summit of Little Round 
Top, had sent thither in haste the brigades of Weed and 
Vincent, both of whom were killed in the struggle for the 
possession of the Hill. This was saved, in large part, by the 
desperate fighting of the Twentieth Maine, Colonel Cham- 
berlain, on the extreme left, some Vermonters of the Sec- 
ond United States Sharp-shooters, also contributing a part to 
the result. The shattered lines of Birney's division of the 
Third Corps were enabled to rally behind the lines of the 
Fifth, supported by portions of the Twelfth Corps, brought 
over from tlie right, and of the Sixth Corps, just arrived upon 
the field, and after a tremendous struggle, in which General 
Hood commanding the right division of Longstreet's corps 
lost an arm, and his successor, Robertson, was wounded, the 
arrival of darkness found the Union position secure. On 
the left centre, to the right of the scene of this contest. Gen- 
eral Hancock was in command, having had the Third Corps 
assigned to him in addition to his own corps, after General 
Sickles was wounded. Humphreys's division, after most 
obstinate and effective resistance, had fallen back to Cem- 
etery Ridge, closely pressed by Anderson's Confederate div- 
ision of double its numbers. General Hancock -brought 


forward to Humphreys's support what troops were available 
of the Second Corps ; but they were not sufficient in num- 
ber to make a continuous line, or stay the onset of the 
enemy. The Confederate brigades of Wilcox, Perry and 
Wright advanced to the crest, outflanked Humphreys on 
right and left, broke through the fragmentary line of 
Second Corps troops, seized a number of Union guns,' and 
had well nigh cut the Army of the Potomac in two. At this 
juncture the Second Vermont brigade came into action ; took 
the place of veteran troops which had broken ; drove back 
the advancing masses ; filled a large gap ; and completed the 
re-establishment of the Union lines along Cemetery Bidge.^ 

Some idea of the critical nature of the situation when 
this service was performed, and of the prompt and steady 
way in which the Vermont troops went in, may be gained 
from the following graphic description given in a letter to 
the writer of these pages, by Lieut. Colonel George Meade, 
son of General Meade, who was on his father's staff, and at 
his side, that day. After alluding to the circumstance that 
an important message was received by General Meade, after 
his return to his headquarters from the left, which caused 
him to send an order to Newton to bring up some troops as 
soon as possible, and then to mount and hurry out to the 
line of the Second Corps, Colonel Meade says : 

As the general rode up toward the line the firing was 

' Wilcox and Wright claimed that they captured, but could not hold, 
28 guns. • 

* General Doubleday says that General Meade's attention was called to 
the critical condition of things at this point by General Tidball, chief of 
artillery of the cavalry corps, who said to him : " General, I am sorry to 
see that the enemy have pierced our centre. * * * if you need troops, 
I saw a fine body of Vermonters a short distance from there, belonging to 
the First Corps, who are available." Whereupon General Meade directed 
Tidball to take an order to Newton and to put the men in at once. " I have 
been particular," says General Doubleday, " in narrating this incident, as 
Stannard's Vermont Brigade contributed greatly to the victory of the next 
day, and it is worthy of record to state how they came to be on that part 
of the field."— Campaigns of the Civil War, Vol. VI., p. 177. 


very sharp, both of artillery and infantry. Between the left 
of Gibbon and some troops farther to the left, there seemed 
to be a vacant space in the lines, and apparently no organ- 
ized body of troops there. Many of our men were scattered 
about, coming back. Directly in front of the general a line 
of the enemy could be seen advancing in the open between 
our ridge and the Emmitsburg pike. I think this must have 
been Wright's Georgia brigade. They seemed to be making 
straight for where we were. The general at once took in the 
situation. He once or twice looked anxiously in the direc- 
tion whence Newton should come, and then rode slowly for- 
ward. It was in the minds of those of us who were with him 
that as a last resort he was going to make some personal 
effort at a diversion — anything to give a little time. I was 
so impressed with this that I rode up as close to him as I 
could get. The others did the same. I do not remember 
that there was anything said — in fact the fearful crash of the 
firing all around and the shouts of the men, that you know 
so well on a field of battle, would have prevented any one 
being heard. Just as we were making up our minds for the 
worst, some one shouted or rather yelled : " There they come. 
General!" Looking around we saw a column of infantry 
come swinging down the Taneytown road from the direction 
of Cemetery Hill, in close column of divisions, at a sharp 
double-quick, flags flying, arms at right shoulder, officers 
steadying their men with sharp commands. They came on 
as if on review. It was the most exciting and inspiriting 
moment I ever passed, and every one yelled as if for dear 
life. Newton came up ahead of the column and General 
Meade rode to meet him. They had a few hurried words ; 
the head of the column wheeled to the right and moved up 
to the line of battle. A line of skirmishers was thrown for- 
ward, and as they passed General Meade and his aids, he 
turned his horse's head and waving his hat, said : " Come 
on^ gentlemen! " and rode along with the skirmish line xip to 
and beyond the crest. 

The rest you know better than I can tell. Some one 
about this time rode up to General Meade and remarked 
that at one time it looked " pretty desperate," It was a 
great relief, I can assure you, to hear him reply : " Yes ! but 
it is all right now, it is all right now." This column of 
troops was Doubleday's and Hobinson's divisions of the 
First Corps and I have always understood that at the head 
of the column was Stannard's Vermont brigade. It has 
always been to me the most dramatic incident connected with 


General Meade on that field, and I have often wished that I 
could only command the power of description, so that I 
could give it as I saw it then and as I think of it now. 

The column thus seen and described by Colonel Meade 
was in fact simply the Second Vermont brigade. With its 
nearly 2,000 muskets, it undoubtedly looked like a division. 
It was in advance of the rest of Doubleday's division, which 
followed at a considerable interval ; and still more in advance 
of Robinson's, which in fact did not go down where the Sec- 
ond Vermont brigade went, or anywhere very near it. The 
reports of Generals Doubleday and Robinson do not mention 
the taking of any active part in the repulse of Wright by any 
troops of the First Corps except Stannard's brigade. And 
the Vermont troops were in fact the only ones of the corps 
that actually struck the enemy at this time, and it was by them 
that the broken line of the Second Corps was re-established. 
The details of this important piece of service are as follows. 

Till they were thus put in, the Vermonters, lying under 
the hill, had seen little of what was going on in front ; but 
the activity of the batteries along the ridge and the gradual 
n earing of the smoke-clouds and musketry- volleys had ad- 
monished them that the tide of battle was sweeping toward 
them. Suddenly, after a pause, there came a fresh outbreak 
of musketry, nearer still, followed by the shrill yell with 
which Wright's men rushed upon a Union battery. A moment 
later the orders came which hurried the regiments into the 
fight. The Fourteenth lay nearest to the break in the Union 
lines, and led the way to the left for a quarter of a mile, when 
fronting into line of battle, it moved forward imder sharp fire 
to the rear of a battery which had been left alone by the 
retirement of its supports. The line of the enemy which was 
assaulting the battery halted and then fell back as the 
Fourteenth moved forward, and did not again advance to the 

The Sixteenth, Colonel Veazey, came next. It moved 


left in front, down the Taneytowu road a short distance, and 
tlien into the fiekl and along the crest till it reached the 
position of the Second Corps' batteries, receiving as it moved 
a cannon-shot — the first that entered its ranks — M^hich 
knocked down a file of men, killing two of them.' The 
smoke enveloped that part of the ridge, but it could be seen 
that a battery near there was without support, and a line of 
the enemy was both seen and heard advancing upon the guns 
with loud shouting. The Sixteenth deployed in rear of the 
battery; the enemy, disconcerted by the appearance of this 
fresh line, fell back ; and the Sixteenth supported the battery 
till dark, when the regiment was moved to the left and for- 
ward into the front line in that part of the field. 

Colonel Kandall, with companies A, Captain Lonergan ; 
B, Captain Wilder ; C, Captain Coburn ; G, Lieutenant 
Clarke and I, Lieutenant Searles, of the Thirteenth, moved 
with equal promptness. On the crest he met General 
Hancock, who had been endeavoring to rally the supports of 
Weir's (Fifth U. S.) battery, now in danger of capture by a 
regiment of Wright's brigade. Lieutenant Weir had had his 
horse shot and was stunned by a spent ball. The gunners 
had abandoned three of his guns, and the entire battery was 
in the utmost danger. " Can't you save that battery, 
Colonel? " asked Hancock. " We can try," was the reply — 
"forward, boys! " Randall's gray horse soon fell under him, 
shot through the shoulder ; but the colonel went on, on foot, 
and was one of the first to reach the battery, with Captain 
Lonergan by his side. The Georgians were driven from the 
guns ; the cannoneers withdrew two of them, and four were 
passed to the rear by hand, by the men of the Thirteenth. 
They did not stop long there, however ; but pushed on to 
the Emmittsburg road, stepping over some Confederates 
who were lying in the ditches, on the way, one of whom rose 

' Killed, Sergeant Moses P. Baldwin and Private Sylvanus A. Winship 
of company C. 


and fired ineffectually at Major Boynton's back after lie had 
passed him. His life was spared by the men, in obedience 
to the major's command, and he was taken to the rear as a 
prisoner. Colonel Randall says, in his report : " I advanced 
my line to the [Emmittsbnrg] road, and sent Adjutant James 
S. Peck back to inform General Hancock of our position. 
"While he was gone, the rebels advanced two pieces of artil- 
lery into the road about 100 yards to the south of us, and 
commenced to shell us down the road, whereupon I detached 
one company and advanced them under cover of the road, 
dugway and fences, with instructions to charge upon and 
seize those guns, which they most gallantly did." 

About this time the battalion was fired upon from 
Rogers's house on the Emmittsburg road, and company A 
was sent thither. Captain Lonergan surrounded the house 
with his men, and took there a captain and 80 men of an 
Alabama regiment — being a larger number of prisoners than 
there were men in the company. It being now dark, Stannard 
concentrated his brigade, and it occupied at the close of the 
day the front line on the left centre, between Gibbons's and 
Caldwell's divisions of the Second Corps, which post of 
danger and honor it held for twenty-six hours, and to the 
close of the battle. 

While these events were in progress, on the left wing, 
General Meade's centre and right had been subjected to a 
shelling, which was only eclipsed by that on the left centre 
the day following. At five o'clock the enemy, probably sur- 
mising (which was the fact) that his right had been weak- 
ened to reinforce the left, made a determined attack on his 
extreme right. The ground here is high and broken, rising 
into a rocky eminence, known as Culp's Hill, with two sum- 
mits, whose steepest inclines faced the enemy to the north- 
east, separated by a ravine strewn with large granite blocks. 
Hill and valley were wooded with a fine growth of oak. The 
whole position here had been made very strong by substan- 


tial breastworks of felled trees and piled stones. Gulp's Hill 
was held by General Wadsworth, with the remnant of his 
division of the First Corps, and by General Geary's division 
of the Twelfth, until the latter part of the afternoon, when 
Geary was ordered with two brigades of his division across 
to the left of the field to reinforce Sickles. General Greene's 
brigade of Geary's division remained and manned the breast- 
works through the ravine. About seven o'clock the famous 
Stonewall brigade, of Early's division of Swell's corps, 
formed column in mass, and marched boldly up the steepest 
part of Gulp's Hill, against what they supposed to be the 
extreme Union right. They met the Seventh Wisconsin and 
Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers, who received them with a 
fire of musketry which piled the ground in front of the en^ 
ti^enchments with their dead. Foiled in his attack in column, 
the enemy deployed to his left in line and furiously attacked 
General Greene's brigade. He met again a welcome of 
rolling volleys, and, foiled at every point, fell back to the 
foot of the hill, where, covered by the trees and rocks, he 
kept up, till nine o'cloc